Ilsa: A Novel
Long out of print, the second novel by the bestselling author of A Wrinkle in Time looks at the darker side of love in a Southern town.
From the moment Henry Porcher first sees Ilsa Brandes, he worships her. Despite controversy surrounding the young girl, Henry is drawn to her, a fascination that turns into a lifelong infatuation.
As the years pass, Ilsa’s memory never leaves him, not until the day he returns to their sleepy Southern hometown and renews their childhood friendship. Henry watches as she becomes a wife, then a mother, then a widow, irrevocably changed by tragedy.
Out of print for nearly six decades, this rare and sought-after novel is a portrait of a remarkable woman bound by both the stifling conventions of her time and place, and her own sense of honor and purpose.
A departure from L’Engle’s later works, Ilsa is a dark, intriguing novel about passion, fixation, and the real price of unrequited love by an author renowned for her children’s classics as well as her candid personal memoirs.
About the Author
Madeleine L’Engle (1918–2007) was an American author of more than sixty books, including novels for children and adults, poetry, and religious meditations. Her best-known work, A Wrinkle in Time, one of the most beloved young adult books of the twentieth century and a Newbery Medal winner, has sold more than fourteen million copies since its publication in 1962. Her other novels include A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and A Ring of Endless Light. Born in New York City, L’Engle graduated from Smith College and worked in theater, where she met her husband, actor Hugh Franklin. L’Engle documented her marriage and family life in the four-book autobiographical series, the Crosswicks Journals. She also served as librarian and writer-in-residence at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in Manhattan for more than thirty years.
Praise for Ilsa: A Novel
“Dominated by an all pervasive, if tenuous, atmosphere, this is a study in place and personality, a still life of the south in all its inertia and its persistence for the past. . . . There is considerable charm here, an effectiveness compounded of subtlety and indirection, giving this a very definite appeal for discerning readers.” —Kirkus Reviews