Archive for the ‘Madeleine L’Engle’ Category

Previously published on August 22, 2015

Title: A Wrinkle in Time
Author: Madeleine L’Engle
Series: The Time Quintet #1

Summary from Goodreads: Out of this wild night, a strange visitor comes to the Murry house and beckons Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe on a most dangerous and extraordinary adventure – one that will threaten their lives and our universe.

I read this book all the way back in January, and didn’t review it then. But I am trying to clean up my Classics Club project and this is one of the books that I read for that project, so here I am, eight months later, writing this post.

I first read A Wrinkle In Time when I was around 8 years old. It was originally published in 1962, won the Newbery in 1963, and has been in print ever since. A Wrinkle in Time was important to me as a girl, highly influential, in spite of the fact that I couldn’t put it at the same level with The Hobbit or The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in terms of impacting my world view.

But, it was a book about a girl, written by a woman, two facts which were not lost on me when I read it the first time, in the early to mid-1970’s. Female protagonists in fantasy/sci fi, were thin on the ground back then, and Meg Murray was a highly relatable protagonist. She was a physically nondescript girl, with brilliant parents and an inferiority complex. She was uncomfortable in her own skin, and uncomfortable with her rather prodigious brains – jealous of her more conventionally pretty mother, and secretly enamored of Calvin O’Keefe, a very popular boy.

She is no Bella Swan, however, no matter how relatable she is. Meg Murray exists as a person, not just as a stand-in for the reader to picture herself winning the affections of the hot guy.

I’ve always been more of a fan of fantasy than sci fi, and this book is firmly within the science fiction branch of speculative fiction, with characters who travel through space and time, interplanetary travel, and the use mathematical and scientific concepts as plot drivers. I first learned the word “tesseract” through reading this book. I have read two other books in the series, including book 2, which relies upon mitochondria and other biological concepts to underpin the story. In spite of the fact that I first read L’Engle 40-odd years ago, I’ve never forgotten her stories or her characters, which seems to be a mark of a successful book.

Interestingly, A Wrinkle in Time is a frequently banned book, based upon references to witches and the assertion that it challenges Christian beliefs. This is particularly puzzling given the fact that all of L’Engle’s books are strongly informed by her deep and abiding Christian faith, in the same way that the Chronicles of Narnia are a reflection of C.S. Lewis’s faith.

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