Becoming Madeleine is a detailed biography that illustrates the life of Madeleine L’Engle (Camp), an accomplished and famous writer best known for her book A Wrinkle In Time. It is written by Madeleine’s granddaughters, Lena and Charlotte. They describe every aspect of her career including her early life, her successes, and personal life.
Becoming Madeleine describes in great detail Madeleine’s upbringing, which took place in many countries over the course of Madeleine’s elementary, junior high, and high school years. The Camp family (comprising of Madeleine’s mother Mado, Madeline’s father Charles, and Madeleine) resided in three places: New York City, The French Alps, and Jacksonville, Florida. During this time, Madeleine was taught at nearby boarding schools. The schools were usually nearby where Madeleine’s parents were living, but as she grew older, she started attending boarding schools located further away. For example, when she was a young girl and her family lived in New York City, Madeleine attended a local New York public school. However, when Madeleine’s family was located in Jacksonville, Florida, Madeleine went to a High School in South Carolina. When her family lived in Switzerland, Madeleine attended a Swiss boarding school. Madeleine’s biography includes several of her report cards, class pictures, and excerpts from her diary about life at these various schools and also about what was going on at home. Madeleine’s time at each of these schools had a great impact on her and shows up in many scenes in books she authored as an adult. Madeleine attended college at Smith College, a women’s school in Massachusetts. After college, Madeleine moved back to New York where she wrote and published several books that established her career. Madeleine then met and married her husband, Hugh, and gave birth to two children. In 1962, Madeleine wrote A Wrinkle In Time, a book that earned her many awards and helped her gain popularity. What is notable about this book is that it was rejected by 32 publishers prior to becoming such a great success. During that time, Madeleine never gave up.
Becoming Madeleine encompasses even more about Madeleine’s life and her literary works. It also includes images of her homes and her family members. I would strongly recommend this book to fans of Madeleine’s work, biography-lovers, and anyone who enjoys a good book.