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Love in the summer stock wings

A newly published book by a young Madeleine L'Engle.

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Who doesn’t dream of just one more book by their favorite author – a sequel to “Stuart Little” buried in E.B. White’s Maine barn, say, or news that Harper Lee has been sitting on a follow-up to “To Kill a Mockingbird” all these years? So a new novel by Newbery Award-winner Madeleine L’Engle is, by definition, cause for rejoicing.

A few caveats, though: The Joys of Love (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux; 272 pp.; $16.95) actually isn’t L’Engle’s last book – it was written in the 1940s, well before “A Wrinkle in Time” catapulted her to classic children’s literature status. Her agent didn’t want to take the book on, so L’Engle later gave the manuscript to her granddaughters to enjoy. The book reads more like a period piece than a young adult novel – full of trips to the Automat, dirndl skirts, and endearing postwar slang. Readers will appreciate it most if they approach it like a newly discovered artifact rather than a work by a mature writer.

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