Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage (The Crosswicks Journal, Book 4)
by Madeleine L'Engle
Publisher: HarperOne, 1989.
The back cover of Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage describes this book as a "tribute to, and record of, a lasting love." That it is.
Best selling author Madeleine L'Engle and her actor husband Hugh Franklin were married for 40 years
. Their marriage ended when Hugh died of cancer. Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage
is Madeleine's tribute to their love for one another and a celebration of both their joys and struggles.
Throughout this inspirational and beautiful book of love and loss, Madeleine reveals their many lifestyle decisions to put their marriage relationship first. An example is even when Hugh was ill, they lived out this value by encouraging their youngest daughter to make time alone for herself and her husband.
Madeleine L'Engle Quotes
"I am grateful that Hugh and I didn't meet until we had both learned at least a little more about other people and about ourselves than we knew during those early years of painful growth." (page 11)
"But the marriage contract is not the love that builds up over many years, and which never ends, as the circle of our wedding band never ends. Hugh will always be part of me, go with me wherever I go, and that is good because, despite our faults and flaws and failures, what we gave each other was good. I am who I am because of our years together, freed by his acceptance and love of me."(page 230)
"A love which depends solely on romance, on the combustion of two attracting chemistries tends to fizzle out ... A long-term marriage has to move beyond chemistry to compatibility, to friendship, to companionship. It is certainly not that passion disappears, but that it is conjoined with other ways of love." (page 76)
"The growth of love is not a straight line, but a series of hills and valleys. I suspect that in every good marriage there are times when love seems to be over. Sometimes these desert lines are simply the only way to the next oasis, which is far more lush and beautiful after the desert crossing than it could possibly have been without it." (page 100)
"Our love has been anything but perfect and anything but static. Inevitably there have been times when one of us has outrun the other and has to wait patiently for the other to catch up. There have been times when we have misunderstood each other, demanded too much of each other, been insensitive to the other's needs. I do not believe there is any marriage where this does not happen." (page 100)
"Better we have kythed, that silent communion which deepens between two people as they live together for many years." (page 199)
We thoroughly enjoyed reading Madeleine's moving story about how they met, their courtship and wedding, their early years of marriage, and how they dealt with Hugh's terminal illness. It has a timeless message about a marriage that worked.
This personal journal is full of marriage advice and tips on dealing with difficult issues. We highly recommend Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage.