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An Acceptable Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet) Paperback – May 1, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
For this time-slip novel, L'Engle again reaches into her bag of weird and wonderful knowledge, blending snippets of tantalizing information from a variety of disciplines--history, natural history, physics and Christian metaphysics, to name a few--into a rich and heady brew. Red-haired Polly O'Keefe (last seen in A House Like a Lotus ) arrives at her grandparents' farm in Connecticut for some private tutoring. There, in a landscape familiar to L'Engle fans (who will be pleased to know that the Nobel Prize-winning Mrs. Murry still cooks over a Bunsen burner), Polly slips back 3000 years into a different time "spiral." She meets Anaral, a Native American girl; Karralys, a druid banished from Britain for his progressive thinking; and Tav, a handsome warrior who accompanied the druid to their new land. Polly travels back and forth between the two worlds, and eventually her purpose becomes clear: with the aid of her new friends she forges peace between two clashing tribes, and helps Zachary Gray (also from A House Like a Lotus ), a self-centered but very ill young man. The story is laced together with L'Engle's now-familiar theme of the transcendent importance of love. This fine fantasy, firmly rooted in reality, is the kind of thoughtful story at which L'Engle excels. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“When Polly O'Keefe visits her grandparents in Connecticut, she finds herself caught up in the lives of three mysterious strangers [who lived] 3,000 years ago [and] travels back in time to play a crucial role in an ancient confrontation...L'Engle has again achieved the award-winning style of A Wrinkle in Time. . .Highly recommended.” ―VOYA
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Top customer reviews
This is a captivating story centering on Meg, a pre-teen girl, and her struggle to accept who she is. She has very little confidence and not much feeling of self-worth, but she finds her inner strength and beauty. Meg learns that it is okay to be different. In fact, being different from one another makes life more vital and alive.
Fantasy and scientific facts intermingle for a grand adventure with Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace who seek to free Meg and Charles’ father from the IT. Helped by Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, Meg learns a lesson in the strength of love.
The first thing that jarred me was the ham-handed characterization, particularly of Meg, who spends so much of the book either complaining, or screaming, or obsessing about one thing to the exclusion of every other, often obvious, necessity. Meg is not a likeable creature, though not because she's both stubborn and angry, but because of how she chooses to use what Mrs. Whatsis calls her "gifts." Rather, it's her unwillingness to understand or even listen to what her brother and her friend, and her father are telling her because she's certain she knows what's going on and they don't.
And the screaming. Meg screams a lot, and it's wearing.
I understand what L'Engle was going for with Charles Wallace, but now that I'm older and have done a lot more writing, I recognize that at least some of his speech pattern is in aid of not having to write a small child's dialogue. Yes, he should be more adult in his speech than a normal child his age, but to make him sound like a professor puts the reader at such a distance from his reality that it become difficult to read him as anything but a miniature adult, and it blunts the sense of danger we might get from his predicament.
Calvin? Too slangy by half, and all that slang seems quaint and even prissy.
But the story does hold up. Three children travel across universes to rescue the father of two of them. He's being held by an evil entity which takes over worlds and turns the inhabitants into near zombies. There's a 1984-ish vibe to it. It reflects the fears about the rise of totalitarian powers, Nazi Germany, certainly, but even more so, the spread of Communism after WWII. L'Engle, a profoundly Christian writer, believes that the power of love can defeat that sort of evil, and that the love of God is the greatest expression of that power.
While I don't share L'Engle's sentiments about Christianity, I do think that the scene where Meg is called upon to save her brother is a powerful one because it's the moment when she focuses all her negative energies into something positive: her expression of love for Charles Wallace, and not only accomplishes her task, but turns a corner in her own development. She begins to understand how even negative energies can be made positive if they're properly applied. It's also our pay-off for having stuck with Meg, and cared about her even when she was at her most unlikeable.
After that it's wham, bam, thank you ma'am, and done. There are two or three other books in this series, though, so the story continues, though somewhat less successfully than in Wrinkle. I've read two more in the past, and have no real desire to reread them now or seek out the fourth if it exists (can't recall, sorry.)
Part of me wishes I hadn't reread this because after such a long absence I found it a bit of a chore, and I hate thinking of it that way. I want to remember the magic, not the flaws. But I still have high hopes for the upcoming film, so it's not a story I'll ever let go of.
Most recent customer reviews
The book starts off and is immediately confusing. I had to read the first part twice.Read more