Ilsa by Madeleine L’Engle

*** 3.5/5: Liked it to the edge of love- a stage 1 crush

You would never guess this novel came from a renouned children’s author. It’s dark. And real.

Recommended readers:

  • If you loved The Wrinkle in Time and want to be surprised by the famous author’s other works
  • If you like slow reading storytelling with too-real character

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 for characters
  • 3/5 for plot
  • 3.5/5 overall


Yes, I definitely picked this book solely on the author. Madeleine L’Engle wrote the famed children’s classic The Wrinkle in Time, a fabulous science fiction and fantasy novel and winner of a Newberry Award in 1963. Ilsa is a huge departure from her better-known works (written long after she wrote Ilsa, actually). L’Engle’s Ilsa tells a darker and thoughtful story of young Henry Porcher, the son of a wealthy family, and the moment he first meets Ilsa Brandes, the daughter of a traveling doctor. The opposite of L’Engle’s most known fantasy story, Ilsa the novel has so much stark reality, dark fixation and plenty of real-life sadness – it’s hard to imagine it’s from the renowned children’s author. With too-real characters who are skillfully created, it’s understandable that L’Engle became the award-winning author as she perfected her craft with earlier novels.

Available by ebook now: Ilsa by Madeleine L’Engle

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