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A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet) Paperback – May 1, 2007
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Everyone in town thinks Meg is volatile and dull-witted and that her younger brother Charles Wallace is dumb. People are also saying that their father has run off and left their brilliant scientist mother. Spurred on by these rumors, Meg and Charles Wallace, along with their new friend Calvin, embark on a perilous quest through space to find their father. In doing so they must travel behind the shadow of an evil power that is darkening the cosmos, one planet at a time.
Young people who have trouble finding their place in the world will connect with the "misfit" characters in this provocative story. This is no superhero tale, nor is it science fiction, although it shares elements of both. The travelers must rely on their individual and collective strengths, delving deep into their characters to find answers.
A classic since 1962, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time is sophisticated in concept yet warm in tone, with mystery and love coursing through its pages. Meg's shattering yet ultimately freeing discovery that her father is not omnipotent provides a satisfying coming-of-age element. Readers will feel a sense of power as they travel with these three children, challenging concepts of time, space, and the power of good over evil. (Ages 9 to 12) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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“A coming of age fantasy story that sympathizes with typical teen girl awkwardness and insecurity, highlighting courage, resourcefulness and the importance of famiyl ties as key to overcoming them.” ―Carol Platt Liebau, author, in the New York Post
“An exhilarating experience.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“This imaginative book will be read for a long time into the future.” ―Children's Literature
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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.
by Madeleine L'Engle
Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Book Length: 211 pages
Genre: Children's Chapter, Fantasy
There is no way for me to review this book unbiasedly. If I was to name one book that was my most influential in my childhood it would be A Wrinkle in Time. I must have read this book over 100 times.
The main reason that I love this book is due to Meg. Meg is ordinary surrounded by extraordinary. She has two brothers that excel at the social world and a younger brother that is a genius. Meg does not completely fit into either world. She doesn't even get the gift of being average. She stands out and she doesn't know how to stand out.
Meg goes on a fantastic voyage and ultimately finds out that she is, in fact, extraordinary. She is extraordinary because she is exactly who she is. She didn't have to grow up or change, she only had to recognize who she is. I think this is why I fell in love with this book in my youth.
Reading it as an adult the book is still magical. It still resonates with me. It is still an amazingly well-written story.
I have loved a lot of books in my time, yet A Wrinkle in Time will always have a special place.
As reviewed on The Book Recluse Review
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Hot Toasty Rag, July 20, 2017
A Wrinkle in Time is a children’s classic, and most adults who read it are revisiting their past.Read more