A Wrinkle in Time
Crosswicks, Ltd, 1962, 1997
From the back cover: “A Wrinkle in Time, the first of Madeleine L’Engle’s books to featue the Murry family and their cosmic battle against a great evil that abhors individuality, won the Newberry Medal in 1963. It is the story of the adventures of Meg Murry, her younger brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe, as they search through time and space for Meg and Charles Wallace’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in top secret government work concerning “tesseracts,” or wrinkles in time.”
This is one of those books that I had read before I saw the movie. It is so beautifully written and described that when I was trying to imagine what the author was seeing, I kept coming back to the movie instead (which was just okay). Here’s a rather long description/quote from the book after the children have traveled with Mrs Whatsit across time and space to find their dad.
“Outwardly Mrs Whatsit was surely no longer a Mrs Whatsit. She was a marble-white body with powerful flanks, something like a horse but at the same time completely unlike a horse for from the magnificantly modeled back sprang a nobly formed torso, arms and a head resembling a man’s, but a man with a perfection of dignity and virture, an exaltation of joy such as Meg had ever seen. No, she thought, it’s not like a Greek centaur. Not in the least.
“From the shoulders slowly a pair of wings unfolded, wings made of rainbows, of light upon water, of poetry.” And one more quote with the transformed Mrs Whatsit speaking for the first time in a “…rich voice with the warmth of a woodwind, the clarity of a trumpet, the mystery of an English horn.”
Aren’t these beautifully written descriptions of something you’ve never seen or heard? This type of lyrical writing reminds me very much of Ray Bradbury. Last summer we read a whole bunch of his books and fell in love with his writing. Any way, back to this book. . . .
The story itself is well done, well thought out and kept me engaged for the 4 or 5 hours it took me to read it. The book ended rather suddenly and I was a bit let down – but not much. Through the journey the children learn various lessons that prove to be most helpful. Charles Wallace, age 5, is a incredibly smart and wise for being so young; his lesson is about pride. Meg, age 14, is smart with mathematics but not much else (she thinks). Since her father’s prolonged absence she become embittered and seething with anger; her lesson is forgiveness. Calvin, age 15, new friend of Charles Wallace and Meg’s, learns to reach inside himself in order to reach out to others.
There is a spiritual tone to the book and although God is not mentioned directly, the most direct message of the book is that Evil, or that which robs mankind of its essential spirit, must be defeated by the greater Good, which encourages growth, beauty and Love.
There are sequels to this book, which I may or may not read. Even though I enjoyed the story, it didn’t leave me craving for more. Regardless, the author’s ability to describe the unknown and indescribable is a talent worth checking out in the future.
Rating: 4 out of 5 paws
We read this book as a part of the Summer Reading Challenge, 2016
Topic: Read an Award Winning Book
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