Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A Wrinkle in Time: Review

A Wrinkle in Time (1962) is such well-known book that I'm going to just give a brief synopsis (courtesy of Wikipedia). It is a science fantasy novel written by Madeleine L'Engle. It won the Newbery Medal, Sequoyah Book Award, and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award and was the runner-up for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Throughout the novel, the young characters Meg Murry, Charles Wallace Murry, and Calvin O'Keefe embark on a journey through space and time--across the universe--as they endeavor to save Mr. Murry, the world, and possibly the universe itself.

A Wrinkle in Time was quite probably the first science fiction/fantasy novel I ever read. I picked up the already well-worn (and most likely well-loved) Scholastic edition (pictured) from our used bookstore when I was in elementary school. I took it home and immediately fell in love with Murry family and Calvin. I loved the adventure. I loved that kids were the heroes--and especially that Meg was the one who really saved her father and Charles Wallace. I loved that Meg was a far from perfect girl--a girl who still needed to learn that what she might see as her greatest faults and weaknesses were the things that made her unique and could be used as strengths in times of trouble. I loved that her parents tried very hard to foster and encourage the unique talents of each of their children. And I loved that the themes of good versus evil played out in a fantastical scientific drama.

Reading this as an adult, I found that I still love all of these things about the book. I also love the way L'Engle meshes the spiritual with the scientific--showing that the two need not be mutually exclusive. I still find myself identifying with Meg--the girl who doesn't quite fit in at school and who will never be part of the "in" crowd. But Meg has qualities that make her unique and uniquely heroic--she has a deep attachment to her family and a determination to help her father and her younger brother. Yes, she becomes afraid in the process, but she faces her fear and finds the strengths that allow her to successfully battle IT and bring her father home. I also love the way L'Engle brings in complex scientific ideas and makes them accessible to all readers without "dumbing them down." Encouraging young readers to explore complex ideas is a definite plus. 

A thoroughly enjoyable story no matter what age you read it. ★★★★


Sue Jackson said...

Ah, this was my all-time favorite book when I was a kid! I even played Meg when my class did a play of the book, and I read the entire series (did you know it's just the first book of an excellent series?). And i thoroughly enjoyed reading it again as an adult - so glad you did, too!

Great review -


Book By Book

Barbara H. said...

I read this as a child and then again a few years ago. As you say - enjoyable no matter how old you are when you read it.

AudraBark1 said...

My fifth grade teacher started reading this to our class back in 1965 and none of us liked it. So she gave it up and read something else. I tried to read it again as an adult and soon gave it up. I didn't like any of the characters and it was the same with her Vicky books--totally unlikable characters.

J F Norris said...

I knew you had to have read this when you were a kid. I thoguht: "Bev is just now reading this for the first time? Never!" :^) My older brother had a copy of this when we were kids, but I never read it then. I think I tried to but was turned off for some reason. Took me until the 1990s before I started reading any of L'Engle's books. Did you see the recent movie version? I was really turned off by the way it was hyped for months prior to its actual release. Couldn't escape it -- ads on TV, ads on buses, ads everywhere. The Disney machine can be obnoxious. Ugh. Never bothered with it.

Bev Hankins said...

John--no, I haven't seen the movie. But I don't really see many current movies--maybe one a year. If the choice is watch a thing or read a thing, then read a thing always wins. Always.