James D(ouglas) Forman

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Madeleine L'Engle

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 144

In telling this story of Penelope Metaxas and the Nazi landing on Crete, James Forman has neither skimped nor evaded. War inevitably poses moral and ethical problems, and Penelope has to learn to face them squarely….

Mr. Forman has given a fine blend of universal and particular [in "The Skies of Crete"]: the story is of 20th-century young people encountering Nazi brutality; it might well have been about young Minoans defending Crete against the Greeks. This sense of the past is always with us…. Penelope is every vital, flowering young girl, but the ancient customs and philosophy of Crete have fashioned her into the particular modern girl that she is. This is an unusually challenging and beautiful book….

Madeleine L'Engle, "Teen-Age Fiction: 'The Skies of Crete'," in The New York Times Book Review (© 1963 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), November 10, 1963, p. 12.

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