A House Like a Lotus Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 56 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A House Like a Lotus.
This section contains 331 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the A House Like a Lotus Study Guide

A House Like a Lotus Summary & Study Guide Description

A House Like a Lotus Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on A House Like a Lotus by Madeleine L'Engle.

A House Like a Lotus is the story of sixteen-year-old Polyhymnia O'Keefe (Polly) and her friendship with her middle-aged friend and mentor, Maximiliana Horne. The relationship between the two begins when Polly's uncle Sandy introduces her to Max and Ursula. Max and Ursula have been lovers for many years. That friendship grows as Polly spends more and more time at Max's mansion, discussing her many shared interests with Max and growing in personal curiosity and emotional maturity. Polly's friendship with Max, as well as her budding but gentle relationship with Renny, a medical resident at the local hospital, are Polly's most fulfilling relationships, as she does not get along well with her classmates in high school. As Polly grows in confidence and develops her intersts, she begins to flourish. That flourishing is cut short when a traumatic incident between Max and herself leaves her reeling. All of the action in Greece centers around Polly's attempt to heal and overcome the trauma that this incident has caused.

A House Like a Lotus is an intensely psychological and nuanced novel that is driven more by reflection and contemplation than it is by plot. Nevertheless, its structuring narrative tensions leave the reader wondering just what happened between Max and Polly, and just why Polly's need to forgive Max is so urgent. We learn only toward the end of the novel that Max has made a drunken sexual advance on Polly and that Max is dying of a rare parasitic disease. The conjunction of these two circumstances lend a fraught urgency to the latter half of the book, eventually culminating in Polly's healing through the transformative power of the friendships she forms in Cyprus, where she is working as an aid at a conference at Max's suggestion.

In the end, Polly is able to find forgiveness in her heart and reclaim the genuine love she has for a woman too complex to be categorized as either strictly good or strictly bad.

Read more from the Study Guide

This section contains 331 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the A House Like a Lotus Study Guide
Copyrights
BookRags
A House Like a Lotus from BookRags. (c)2016 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook