Review / Read-A-Long ♦ A Wrinkle In Time

A Wrinkle In Time

It’s a dark and stormy night. Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and their mother are in the kitchen for a midnight snack when a most disturbing visitor arrives.
“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger tells them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”
Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?


Book Title: A Wrinkle In Time Type: Trade Paperback 211 pages
Author: Madeleine L’Engle Publication Date: 1962
Publisher: Yearling ISBN: 0-440-49805-8
Genre: Youth / Fantasy / Sci-Fi Purchase: Amazon

My Thoughts  
Time Quartet Readalong Seems slightly ironic that I am so very late in blogging about  the January book for the Time Quartet Read-A-Long … punctuality is my weakness, now if only I could figure out how to fold time backwards I’d be set!

Over at Kailana’s blog she is hosting a readalong that involves reading a book a month from Madeleine L’Engle’s Time series. January was the kick-off with Book 1 A Wrinkle In Time.

For some reason this is a series of books that I hadn’t read as a child (or that I cannot remember) so this was the perfect excuse for me to pick them up. I also hadn’t watched the television movie based on the books, which meant I had no real expectations going into the reading. With that said and after reading the first book, I’m not sure this is a series I would continue on my own. Not that I didn’t like A Wrinkle in Time, but I just didn’t love it either. This is one of those books where I’m more interested because of ideas within the story than the actual story itself.

What I did love about this book was the characters, or rather the mixture of personalities. This book features 3 children (Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin), as the main characters along with extended family (mom, dad, older twin brothers), a trio of helpful ladies/entities (Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which) various aliens and non-earth creatures, and the token villain – IT (person, entity, idea?)
I didn’t like all the characters, in fact I felt a strong dislike for some of them. But that I think is what made them so appealing. Just like in real life there will be people you just can’t relate to, as well as people that intrigue you. Certain things were really relatable about Meg and she was a girl who I tried my hardest to like or even understand, but found her to be a little too whiney and (for her age) naive. Charles Wallace on the other hand came across as a total void personality-wise, but his above-average intelligence fascinated me.

Of all the characters the otherworld creatures were my favorite, in particular Aunt Beast. She is from a race of non-humans on the planet Ixchel, these beings cannot see visually, but seem to be stronger mentally because of this. Last semester I had a creative writing assignment that required us to write a description of our campus for a visitor who is blind – Meg has a similar experience when communicating with Aunt Beast, and she discovers that the idea of a thing is sometimes more important and informative than its appearance.

Now just let me slip into my super-nerd glasses and tell you what I loved most about this book = the ideas! Time travel books are a tricky lot for me, I don’t only want to read about past times, future times or other worlds. I want a little bit of science on the side (factual or fictional) Why am I addicted to Donnie Darko? Because of the Tangential Universe Theory. And so when reading A Wrinkle in Time I became obsessed by the ideas of folding time and Tesseracts. (That little blue diagram on the side is a visual representation of a Tesseract or hypercube) To be honest I don’t understand a bit of what it actually means mathematically, but it led me on late-night web prowling sessions to try and obtain even a slight understanding. Hours of Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Physics and Time-Space theory reading later I’m still at a loss but I’m starting to get a taste of what the theories are hypothesizing.

And that is what made this book a winner for me. The actual story was good, but took second place to the ideas. I love books that make me think, that prompt me to seek answers. In that way I find that a book has made a lasting impression on me and that it was time well spent.



Madeleine L'Engle

About The Author

Madeleine L’Engle (1918-2007) was the author of more than forty books for children, including the Newberry Award Medal winner A Wrinkle In Time and its sequels, A Wind In The Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters all available in Dell Yearling Editions. She lived in New York and Connecticut.


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© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

8 comments:

Kailana said...

Great review! I read the books as a kid, so it is always interesting to see what people think when they are reading it for the first time as an adult.

softdrink said...

I loved these books when I was a kid. I read part of A Wrinkle in Time again as an adult and it just wasn't the same. I must not have been in a very magical mood.

Zibilee said...

I know that these books are a staple for most kids, but I don't think I have ever read it! I know my daughter has and I think she still has her copy on the shelf. I am going to have to peruse her shelf and see if I can find it! Thanks for the thoughtful review, I will have to let you know what I think of it!

OnlinePublicist said...

I've been staring at that blue cube for about 10 minutes. It's freaking me out. Love it!

Have you ever visited the Donnie Darko website? You need to know things from the movie to move through it. So much fun! http://www.donniedarkofilm.com/

Veens said...

Like you I have not read this as a kid, nor seen any movies based on it!

I think I should also read it someday soon! Gr8 review!

Care said...

I attempted a comment here yesterday and it didn't take, I guess - just wanted you to know I was here. :)
I think I was saying HOW VERY COOL that blue cube thing is.

Zombie Books said...

I saw this book last week at a book shop, but I just passed it. Thanks for a great review, I guess I'm gonna have to get it now:)

It's not really something that I've been into lately, but it really does sound like a great fantasy.

Nymeth said...

I agree with you. This book surprised me, actually, because somehow I didn't expect to like it as much as I did.

Also, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who's behind! Must start book 2.