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Many Waters (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews Review

We've all done it. In the frigid depths of winter we've wished we could be magically transported to someplace warm and sunny. But most people don't have genius parents who just happen to be working on a scientific experiment with time travel at the moment of our wish. Sandy and Dennys Murry, the "normal" boys in a family of geniuses, suddenly find themselves trudging through a blazing-hot desert, seeking a far-off oasis for shade. Their desperate wandering brings them face-to-face with history--biblical history. Soon they're feeling right at home with Noah and his family. Even so, the urgent question is, how will Sandy and Dennys get back to their own place and time before the floods--the many waters--come? As they begin to cross the invisible border into adulthood, the twins must confront their ability to resist temptation and embrace integrity.

In Many Waters, Madeleine L'Engle continues the Murry family saga, which includes A Wrinkle in Time; A Wind in the Door; and A Swiftly Tilting Planet, which won the American Book Award. L'Engle's mystical mix of science fiction and fantasy, time and space travel, history, morals, religion, and culture once again urges her many adoring readers to stretch their minds and hearts to understand why the world is the way it is. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up Fans of the Murry family will welcome this tangental return to the "Time Trilogy" books (Farrar) as L'Engle spins another uniquely metaphysical fantasy, this time using the twins, Sandy and Dennys, at age 15, as her protagonists. On a cold day, Dennys absent-mindedly requests his father's computer to take them "someplace warm." Suddenly, it's the twins' turn to tessor, and they end up in a desert so hot that they nearly die of sun poisoning. As they meet the small people who inhabit it, including Lemach, Shem, Ham, Japheth, and finally, Noah, they realize that they are in the world as it existed before the Great Flood. What follows is an entertaining description of life in this ancient time and place, when angels and fallen angels walked the earth, and small mammoths could call unicorns into existence. The story is more tension than plot: the tension of the Nephilim, fallen angels whose power on earth seems somehow threatened by the mysterious arrival of the twins; the sexual tension that both Sandy and Dennys feel as they are drawn to Yalith, Noah's youngest daughter; and the tension that readers feel, wondering how those protagonists not mentioned in Genesis (the twins and Yalith) are going to survive the Flood, which is plainly imminent throughout the book. This suspense lacks the urgency found in the other books of the trilogy, however, mainly because the characters are subservient to atmosphere, incident, and ideas. It is as hard for readers to tell the twins apart as it is for Noah. One is curious as to how they will escape, but hardly worried. The strength of this book lies in its haunting descriptions of a time resonant of our own. Its weakness is a pat ending and characters so slightly drawn that we hardly care. Christine Behrman, New York Public Library
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Series: A Wrinkle in Time Quintet (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312368577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312368579
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Madeleine L'Engle, the popular author of many books for children and adults, has interspersed her writing and teaching career with raising three children, maintaining an apartment in New York and a farmhouse of charming confusion which is called "Crosswicks."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm barely under 13, but I loved this book! As many other people said, it was more religious than the other books and it was much different, but I think that anyone can like it. It seemed like she decided to go with a different idea here, and I like it. The whole of the book seems much more earth-based and not so far out like in "A Wrinkle in Time" where an entire planet is controlled by a giant brain. I think this book is also good because no matter how many times you read it, you notice new details every time. I should know, I've read it four times.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Stacey M Jones on December 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Many Waters" was my least favorite of the four books in the "Time Quartet," but it was good. It just seemed VERY different from the three previous books that I read as a teenager. This book is about Meg and Charles Wallace's twin brothers Sandy and Dennys. The boys mistakenly get taken up by one of their father's space-time experiments and find themselves in a desert, rescued by a small oasis-dwelling man named Japeth. It turns out that they have found themselves in the Biblical story of Noah before the flood. The book details some of L'Engle's suppositions about the daily life of the the people then and also elaborates on the supernatural life of the time... seraphim were common visitors to the people of Noah's oasis as were something called "nephilim," which were once more godly creatures that turned their backs on god and began to marry and mate with humans. The boys get caught up in the stories of the relationships among all these "species" and have their own adventures. It's an interesting tale, but as I said, it is so different from the others, it wasn't what I expected.
The book is a little more overtly religious than the other books, but it's an interesting interpetation of what's always been a very puzzling chapter in Genesis (Gen 6) which talks about the sons of God mating with the daughters of men, and the Nephilim living among them. It's always seemed to be a bit of undigested ancient mythology that was never edited out of the biblical stories when Judaism became a more coherent and modern religion after the Babylonian exile. But l'Engel turns it into an interesting fantasy with a good deal of symbolic value, and makes it about love and faith and the miraculous power of God to bring good out of evil.
"Many waters cannot drown love," we are told, and that seems to be the point of the story.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By DFG on January 3, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I adored the Wrinkle in Time series, but I wasn't even aware of this one until recently so when I learned of its existence I was very excited to read it. Unfortunately, it's very disappointing compared to the others.

In contrast to the rest of the series, here the Murray kids' journey through time occurs simply by accident rather than for a particular purpose. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it does make the whole thing seem a bit...pointless.

The story is interesting enough, but the writing often seems strained. The dialogue in particular is absolutely cringeworthy at times. To some degree this could be excused in a kids' book; I certainly don't expect the same quality of writing as I would in a book aimed at adults. But in how many kids' books is a character described as a "slut" and an "easy lay"? Some of the sexual themes in this book seem to raise the target age significantly above what I would have expected from the rest of the series and from the quality of the writing. I'm not offended by it personally (though I've no doubt some readers - or at least their parents - would be), but it just doesn't really seem appropriate.

If you're a Wrinkle in Time fanatic you'll read this book whatever the reviews say, and you'll probably get some enjoyment out of it. But in my opinion it is not up to the standards set by the original book and A Swiftly Tilting Planet in particular.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I was slightly sceptical when I was given Many Waters as apresent. I had read the three other books in the series, and was seton being a purist with the trilogy. I finally gave in and read this story which took me by suprise. Her story finally gives Sandy and Dennys a chance to experience something deeper than their limited minds had allowed them to in the last 3 books. On top of that, Ms. L'Engle weaves the twins into the fictionalized "behind the scenes" version of Noah's story in Genesis, pre-flood. I finished it in a matter of two nights. This was for me, as another reviewer noted, the first realization that Ms. L'Engle is a Christian writer. I immediately re-read all three original books with a fresh understanding of the underlying idea she was getting across. It was an instantaneous blessing for me. If you like these books, C.S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles & Space Trilogy are musts. It really doesn't matter how old you are, there are blessings in these books for the young and the not-so-young! But don't take my word on it. Read it for yourself!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book a number of years ago and by far this is my favorite book by Ms. L'Engle. This is the story that I always remember of hers, an author whose writings I began reading in fifth grade and continue to read as a college student. Many Waters is particularly special for me because it was the first mainstream novel that I read during young adulthood that dealt with an entirely biblical story and I was incredibly impressed with the accuracy of the retelling. After reading Many Waters I re-read the biblical story of Noah and found that although L'Enlge took artistic lisence in her fictional reproduction, her story actually was very closely related to the history. Although the space/time travel is fictional, her account of the time period is beautiful and inspiring. I also love the story because it was what first made me realize that L'Engle is a Christian. Having always loved her works and then discovering that she has many works specifically about Christian faith, devotionals, and her own personal thoughts and reflections is wonderful. She is my favorite author, but she is also a very popular author in many age groups. She was inspiring to me because she is a very public personality who shares my most personal faith. But more than that, she is willing to open up her heart, her mind, and a piece of her soul to share The Message. Not only is this extremely important for those young adults for whom this story is geared, but her writing is bold, inspiring, and lovely. Her words are read by so many and her message so personal that not only does it influence those who have not heard the Word, but those who have, and who cherish it.
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