A House Like a Lotus

Madeleine L'Engle

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A House Like a Lotus

A House Like a Lotus When sixteen year old Polly O Keefe journeys to Athens she feels confused and betrayed The past eight months at home were different from any other time in her life She met the brilliant wealthy Maxi

  • Title: A House Like a Lotus
  • Author: Madeleine L'Engle
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 180
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • When sixteen year old Polly O Keefe journeys to Athens, she feels confused and betrayed.The past eight months at home were different from any other time in her life She met the brilliant, wealthy Maximiliana Horne, who gave her encouragement and made her feel self confident Polly idolized Max, until she learned a starting truth that left her wounded and angry.Now on a trWhen sixteen year old Polly O Keefe journeys to Athens, she feels confused and betrayed.The past eight months at home were different from any other time in her life She met the brilliant, wealthy Maximiliana Horne, who gave her encouragement and made her feel self confident Polly idolized Max, until she learned a starting truth that left her wounded and angry.Now on a trip to Greece arranged by Max, Polly finds romance, danger, and unique friendships But can she find a way to forgive Max and remember her as than a painful memory Seventeen year old Polly can accept her dying patron s lesbianism until Max, overcome by pain and alcohol, attempts to seduce her While on a working trip to Greece and Cyprus, previously arranged by Max, Polly learns what forgiveness and love really are Polly is a remarkable heroine Children s Book Review Service Compelling Starred, Booklist

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      Posted by:Madeleine L'Engle
      Published :2018-06-23T18:21:01+00:00

    One thought on “A House Like a Lotus

    1. Kirsten on said:

      This is one of the L'Engle books I struggle with the most - the blatant homophobia in particular. I've never understood the big climactic crisis between Max and Polly - my impression is always that Max got drunk and weird (which might be a little upsetting), but I just can't see any signs of seduction - I think that's just people transferring their own homophobic fears there The supposedly sympathetic characters (starting with Meg and Calvin) talk in hushed tones about Max being a lesbian like i [...]

    2. Yakety Yaks on said:

      In case you haven’t figured this out yet, here’s a hint about my personality: If I’m reviewing a Madeleine L’Engle book, it means I had a rough week and needed to be with an old friend.Madeleine L’Engle is that friend to me. No, I never met her personally; but I go to her books time and time again, whenever I’m feeling melancholy, or in a rut, or listless, or reverent, or particularly annoyed, or even just bored. She is dependable in her brilliance, her wisdom, and her ability to sur [...]

    3. Sonia on said:

      Maybe it's because I've done so much work with people who have a history of sexual abuse, but this book struck me as mostly being about would-be predators and actual predators. I don't care if it's 1984 or 1954 or 1864, it's still creepy for a dude in his mid- to late 20s to be dating a 16-year-old, and to seduce her when she's at her most emotionally vulnerable. The book's structure is also kind of nonsensical, and it is never wise to have the story you're telling in flashback be more interesti [...]

    4. Michael Fitzgerald on said:

      Embarrassingly bad. Like L'Engle does Judy Blume or something. Maybe an after-school special. Back and forth between stories, neither of which is particularly compelling. I had thought we had seen the last of that idiot Zachary Gray, but he's back, as if nothing had happened. This book is eminently skippable, alas.

    5. Lauren on said:

      This is one of my all-time favorite L'Engle books.As protagonists go, I love Poly/Polly O'Keefe more than any of the other L'Engle main characters except Meg. Even if Polly keeps going out with Zachary Gray (duh!). I love the settings of this book: one of the islands of the Carolinas, a beautiful place, and Greece, one of the places I long to go.And I love Max. Maxamiliana Horne. Who is special and real and fascinating and loving and helped me start, when I was a mildly angry young person, to ac [...]

    6. Jessebree on said:

      Oh gosh, the O'Keefes give me an inferiority complex! Just way too perfect. Maybe I'm just too old, but the sexual relationship between Renny and Poly grosses me out - I can't remember now how I felt about it when I first read this book as a young teen. He is 25, she is 17. He is an internist and they have sex without a condom, and L'Engle wants the reader to excuse this and write if off as youthful passion overtaking them. Um, no. This is incredibly irresponsible on his part. And then he acts l [...]

    7. Sarah on said:

      Note: I originally gave this about 2 stars (and said so in my Q1 wrap up on booktube), but after writing out this review, I couldn't give it anymore than 1. JustAlright, so y'all know I love Madeleine L'Engle. She wrote my all-time favorite book (A Wrinkle in Time) and I love pretty much the entire rest of the series as well (pretty indifferent about book 5), but this? This did not at all feel like a Madeleine L'Engle book, to the point that if I didn't know it was written by her, I never would' [...]

    8. Emily on said:

      I love what Madeleine L'Engle can bring to the table: scientific and faith-based exploration by awkward characters in the midst of a chaotic world. I've been reading deeper and deeper into her catalogue and unfortunately, it hasn't really paid off in this book.Pros: Polly is a character who has generally different experiences and relationships than most mainstream American kids, so that's kind of food for thought. With Zachary, she is able to be in romantic situations without following them to s [...]

    9. Faith on said:

      Gah. This was seriously the probable worst book I've ever read. I picked it up praying it would be as wonderful and the Time quartet; it wasn't. Everything I loved about the quartet- the family themes, the love story without it being a romance, the purity, the amazing plot, how different it was- was lost in this book. There was none of the family love in this book, she fell for an arrogant jerk, was extremely unfaithful, there was no element of purity whatsoever throughout the book, and quite ho [...]

    10. Catherine Gillespie on said:

      Having read so much of her non-fiction, I decided to re-read some of L’Engle’s novels. Really, I would not recommend this book for children or even teenagers, unless you’re ready to read it with them and discuss it. While it handles some issues very well I was frankly appalled by how casually a relationship between an older man (mid to late 20s) and a 16 year old girl was handled. For one thing that the character’s parents allowed her to go out with an adult man, for another that the “ [...]

    11. Jennifer on said:

      Bent Book (presents good as bad and bad as good). I was terribly dissapointed and even angry when I finished this. I felt betrayed by the author. Near the end, the author introduces homosexuality and pre-marital sex and presents them as good.

    12. Patricia Burroughs on said:

      This is so tough for me to put a number on. It reveals the warts and failures of Madeleine L'Engle's views on subjects that are very much in the forefront today, and if you judge her by current standards--or even 21st Century standards--this book has major flaws. (view spoiler)[The way a lesbian's relationship is described to his daughter when she is distressed to hear about it is loving and for many if not most people at that time, progressive and accepting. But not to 21st Century readers. The [...]

    13. Catherine King on said:

      This is a beautiful book with so much to offer, but my God, I want to revise it over and over until it rests comfortably in the 21st century. There are some instances where texts that are trying to be progressive age all the worse for their forward-thinking statements, and sadly A House Like a Lotus is one of them. This book was a formative influence on me growing up. I read it when I was twelve and was, well, deeply freaked out by the sex n' violence in it -- nothing on a level of what I expect [...]

    14. Robyn on said:

      Warning: Here be spoilers!I read this when I was a teenager. I remember being enthralled and a little disturbed and confused. I was looking for something to read in the doctor's waiting room and decided to download this and read it. As an adult reader I notice that all the major characters in the novel are all amazing overachievers, brilliant, all charming, all at the tops of their careers, all who give our main character their full and thoughtful attention, all with seemingly good intentions. I [...]

    15. Allison on said:

      A House Like a Lotus is a coming of age story about Polly, who is the daughter of Meg Murry and Calvin O'Keefe from _A Wrinkle in Time_. It coterminously tells the story of Polly's life on Benne Seed Island in South Carolina, where she is befriended by her wealthy artist neighbor Max, and the time Polly later spends in Greece with a fascinating international cast of supporting characters. Madeleine L'Engle was my favorite author from the time I was 9 to the time I was 16 or 17, and it is now in [...]

    16. Anne Hawn Smith on said:

      Madeline L'Engle writes books for teens and adults. One of the best characteristics of her books is that the characters are often complex and contradictory. I feel that this book is one of the most complex of the YA genre. It deals with heroes who have feet of clay and that is something young people (and some old) need to come to terms with. This makes it a great choice for kids from about 7th grade and up. Some of the things introduced in this book allow young people to gain skills in recognizi [...]

    17. Marisa on said:

      I recently re-read the Wrinkle in time series, which I loved as a teen, then decided to try the O'Keefe books to see what happened to Meg and Calvin's children. Arm of the Starfish and Dragons in the Waters were interesting, but not the same as the fantasy of the Wrinkle in Time books. This one was so far from the first series, I didn't enjoy it much. I was surprised at all the adult themes that came up. Not appropriate for young adults at all, in my opinion.

    18. Wendy on said:

      This novel discussed sexuality more than I am comfortable with. I think it's supposed to be a young adult novel, but I wouldn't want my kids reading it until they were in their late teens.The writing was superb.

    19. Han on said:

      This book was fraught with problems - in a way that might negatively influence a naive reader. My conservative parent is an ardent fan of L’engle’s and has this book on her bookshelf. When I picked it up, I was repelled and saddened by the blatant homophobia and L’engle’s non-existent attempt to understand and empathize with Max (the lesbian character) while making her one of the main protagonists. In the end, Max becomes a drunken, aggressive, and predatory mess (the predatory part is i [...]

    20. David on said:

      Spoilers ahead!As I read this book, I came to think of it as "the pedophile book." 16 year old Polly is involved in several relationships that ultimately seem inappropriate. We'll start with the easy one:1. Renny is a 20-something medical resident who dates Polly. He limits his intimacy with her to kissing, until she experiences a traumatic event. While she's still basically in shock, he seduces and sleeps with her.2. Zachary is a 20-something rich, college kid bumming around Europe. He sees Pol [...]

    21. Jennifer on said:

      Of the 3 books so far of the O'Keefe series, this one had more of a YA feel. Yes, I gave only 3 star rating, maybe it's a little more 3.5 stars. The story is all from Polly's POV and she is the protagonist through out the story; with going sort of back and forth between the present time as she visits Greece and Cyprus. Depending what activity she might be doing she some flashbacks is her reminiscing or dreaming of the past. We get thoroughly immersed into how Polly things, which I feel is a bett [...]

    22. Hans on said:

      It is probably not a fair assessment, but I kept thinking of this book with the alternate title Are you there Patricia Highsmith, It's me Polyhymnia. The book is basically a coming of age book for our narrator Polly. Half comes in progressively traumatic flashback and half develops in the current time. The book vacillates between being open and progressive and then turning into troubling, regressive sections. The story explores Polly's complicated, troubled relationships with several characters, [...]

    23. Jaime on said:

      This was different than I was expecting. It started off slower and I wasn't sure how I felt about the back and forth between the present and the flashbacks, but overall, I think I enjoyed the story. It focuses a lot on growing up and learning about the world. It's definitely for older teens and adults and not for the normal age group for some of L'Engle's other books. Polly is an interesting character that I felt kinship with. (Despite her weird focus on guys come on, girl!)I think this is the b [...]

    24. Elise on said:

      I adore L'Engle, but this one falls flat. The Max/Polly plot element is clumsy; the handling of sexuality and alcohol are awkward and insensitive. What on earth? So Max gets drunk and Polly is upset? Renny takes advantage of the situation and has unprotected sex with a teenager? More bad decisions from Zachary? Age discrepancies between love interests in L'Engle novels are common, but it was thoroughly unsettling in this context. As an aside: I really like the overlapping characters that wander [...]

    25. Haley on said:

      THIS EXISTS? Having read this would have TOTALLY changed my experience with An Acceptable Time.

    26. Kate on said:

      Madeleine L'Engle is one of my all time favorite authors. Both her characters and storylines are thoughtful, well written and intriguing. She writes books that I can read again and again. This particular novel is one of my absolute favorites and I have enjoyed it both as a written book and as an audio too.

    27. Laura on said:

      Meg and Calvin's oldest daughter, Polly, is now 16 and learning so much about herself, other people, relationships on many levels. It's fun to be with Polly as she's going through this exciting time. But, without giving anything away, it's also kinda stressful.

    28. Audrey on said:

      4.5 stars, I think. Seriously all the Polly O'Keefe I've been actively begging for since I read A Swiftly Tilting Planet! And also, GREECE. I mean, come on!

    29. Kate on said:

      This is much more adult than any of L'Engle's other books but I really liked it. It's a complex coming-of-age story and Polly struggles with some issues that are incredibly relevant today.

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