When Madeline Was Young

By Jane Hamilton
(Anchor, Paperback, 9781400096992, 336pp.)

Publication Date: September 4, 2007

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Compact Disc

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Jane Hamilton, award-winning author of The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World brings us a rich and loving novel about a non-traditional family in the aftermath of a terrible accident.When Aaron Maciver’s beautiful young wife, Madeline, suffers a head injury in a bicycle crash, she is left with the mental capabilities of a six-year-old. In the years that follow, Aaron and his second wife care for Madeline with deep tenderness and devotion as they raise two children of their own. Inspired in part by Elizabeth Spencer’s Light in the Piazza, Hamilton offers an honest and exquisite portrait of how a family tragedy forever shapes the boundaries of love.

About the Author

JANE HAMILTON is the author of The Book of Ruth, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for first fiction, and A Map of the World, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and named one the top ten books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, the Miami Herald, and People. Both The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World have been selections of Oprah's Book Club. Her following work, The Short History of a Prince, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1998, and her novel Disobedience, was published by Doubleday in 2000. She lives in and writes in an orchard farmhouse in Wisconsin.Please visit her website: http://www.randomhouse.com/features/janehamilton/

Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com


  1. What aspects of youth are expressed in the novel's title? Was it wrong, as Figgy believes, to give Madeline the trappings of a little girl?

Praise For When Madeline Was Young

"Mesmerizing. . . . Bittersweet, funny. . . . Hamilton affirms her status as one of our most magnetic and provocative novelists." —The Chicago Tribune“Among the most graceful and thoughtful writers to work the fertile ground that is the Midwestern family.” —The Atlantic Monthly "Utterly elevating and joyful, a long spiritual drink in a parched landscape." —The Washington Post"A study in grace and compassion." —The Boston Globe“Hamilton’s new novel is not to be forgotten.” —USA Today

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