The Rock That Is Higher

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 18 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

From a favorite author comes a thoughtful and memorable book. This book truly encourages the mind to dig deep into it and enjoy.
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In The Rock That is Higher, readers are offered a collection of essays as Madeleine L'Engle describes a pivotal time in her later life. Madeleine L'Engle, at 72, was in a serious car accident that led to a long rehabilitation. As she recounts her experience and speculates on why her life was spared instead of being allowed to die, she allows us into her frank reflections at that vulnerable time.

Sarah Bessey wrote the foreword; Bessey recently had a car accident that left her with a long recovery and persistent health issues/pain; during that time, she encountered this book and it had special significance for her. 

While L'Engle's accident and recovery are the framework, returned to time and again, this book centers around the power of stories, how they can transcend and connect us. Each chapter focuses on a separate component of stories: "Story as the Search for Truth," "Story as a Redemptive Act," and so on. Madeleine L'Engle also uses this book to reinforce how her faith impacts her views on stories.

I found this a thoughtful book with many insights I marked to return to again and again.

(I received a digital ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)
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Very enjoyable to read! She has a way to write like it's a love letter to God. There's no big fancy words or trying to figure out what she means, very straight forward. She writes her thoughts on story in every aspect of her life.
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More than once, I’ve paused and read a page or two out loud to my roommate… the walls of this apartment have heard both “Dang, Madeleine” and “Well that’s what we call a mic drop” in regards to this book.

Madeleine writes of how literature, Scripture, personal stories, and life experiences all point us toward our true home. This quote in particular stood out to me:

“We are homesick not so much for something that was, and was lost, as for something that will  be, and is to be found.”
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This book by Madeleine L’Engle is an incredible undertaking! Somehow she manages to take what appears to me to be extremely different genres  and tie them all  together into a well written book about the truth in story and myth. Her writing style is engaging as she shares with the  reader  her long held beliefs about  religion. While I can’t say I’m completely on board with everything she wrote, I very much enjoyed reading this book and felt uplifted by many of the comparisons and observations she shared.   I also loved how her joy  from a lifetime of loving Jesus shines through on each and every page. 

I feel this book is definitely worthy of 5 stars.
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I've long been a fan of L'Engle's fiction work and this nonfiction piece has convinced me that I'm just a fan of L'Engle in general. It's a stunningly lovely book and I recommend it to anyone who finds their theology in stories.
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This book is all L’Engle in style.  It is insightful and rambling all at the same time.  In it the author gives us a great deal of auto-biographical insight into her life and her thinking.  She relates her own story to her process of storytelling.  This is not a “how to” book for writers.  This work is not so much about the process of creating a story as it is the process of how she lived her own story and the impact that had upon her work.
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I wasn't sure what to expect from this book but I really enjoyed it and took a lot from it. I loved Madeleine sharing her experience with writing, talking about how she writes and why she writes. I loved the explanation of the importance and purpose of story in writing. She shared how a car accident she experienced in which she was seriously injured, affected her faith and her relationship with God as well as the stories that she learned from it.

The chapters all talk about one aspect of story as she defines it: homecoming, a family affair, affirmation of God's love, the search for truth, scripture, the Lord's prayer, community, joy, good news, a creative act, a redemptive act, and resurrection. It was very encouraging to see how her faith intersects and is interwoven with her writing and writing life. I found it very helpful as a writer and as a Christian. It's not a light read, but it's a good one.
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The Rock That Is Higher

Story as Truth

by Madeleine L’Engle

Crown Publishing

Convergent Books


Pub Date 18 Sep 2018

I am reviewing a copy of The Rock That Is Higher through Crown Books and Netgalley:

In this book beloved author Madeline L Engle reminds us that story captures our Hearts and Feeds our imaginations. Story reminds us who we are and where we come from and it gives us meaning and directions in our lives as we learn to see it as an affirmation of God’s love and truth. Our acknowledgement of our longing if the rock in the wilderness.

L’ Engle draws upon her own experiences as well as tales in literature and selected scripture to bring us this book.

I give The Rock that is Higher five out of five stars!

Happy Reading
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L'Engle wrote The Rock That is Higher in the aftermath of a terrible automobile accident. It would appear that the lengthy period of recuperation gave her time to muse over Christianity's place and roll in her life and life in general. L'Engle does not separate the spiritual and secular, but sees the ways in which the two are closely knit together. She sees God and Jesus as an intricate part of home, family, love and truth in the lives of believers. 

     L'Engle comes from a line of storytellers. She recognizes how humanity uses stories to enrich, explore, reveal, and teach. When reading and listening to stories Christians can see God in the truths that are uncovered. She makes the point that truth is not to be confused with facts. Fiction can be a wonderful vessel for truth. After all, didn't Jesus use parables to reveal truth? 

     While theologically I am not one hundred percent aligned with L'Engle. She graciously allows and encourages personal exploration and interpretation. Her writing gives the reader much to think about.

     This book is written in a very personal style. The reader feels as if he or she is sitting across the table from the author with a cup of tea and an open family scrapbook. L'Engle reveals intimate moments from her life's experience in very poised prose. I thank NetGalley and Crown Publishing for providing me with a copy of The Rock That Is Higher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.
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A lovely collection of Ms. L'Engle's writings on literature and scripture. A perfect gift book.

Many thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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I have only read one other book by L'Engle and that was last year, A Wrinkle in Time. So I was curious to read other works by her that were non-fiction and I think  may love her. This book is raw and beautiful and informative at the same time. I found myself slowly reading it to savor the content and looking for more of her books. I have loved this book so much and has given me new ventures into my faith and other books (not all religious) to read.
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