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A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (thoughts)

May 30, 2012

From the Book Depository:
Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg’s father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

I don’t remember how old I was when I first read A Wrinkle in Time but it was during a period in my young life when I read A LOT. However, my reading consisted of Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley and RL Stein and Christopher Pike and Lurlene McDaniel. While all the classics that my mom wanted me to read collected dust under my bed. But when it came to A Wrinkle in Time, she was insistent. Finally I caved (I’m sure there was a bribe involved) and read it. And I loved it. So much that I reread it a couple times before my teens were over.

I had been really looking forward to this reread, my first as an adult, but was taking my sweet time getting around to it. So I was very excited to see that it had been chosen as April’s Book Hoarders Anonymous pick at The Cheap Reader.

Even though I could only remember snippets of what happens in A Wrinkle in Time, just reading the opening sentences was like wrapping myself in a familiar old blanket. I immediately fell right back into Meg’s world.

And what a weird world it is. Honestly I still don’t understand much of the sciency stuff, but what makes A Wrinkle in Time so great are the characters. Meg is a girl who is struggling to figure out her place in the world, who’s not afraid to be both vulnerable and fiercely independent. And Charles Wallace! I love Charles Wallace, with his innocent know-it-all-ness. The non-possessed Charles Wallace, obviously, because possessed Charles Wallace is a jerk. I don’t really have much to say about Calvin, so let’s move on to L’Engle’s wonderfully imaginative secondary characters – Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which, who go from being frightening and strange to not only comforting, but called upon for help. I had completely forgotten about Happy Medium and Aunt Beast, and I wish there had been more of both of them in the story.

What surprised me during this reread was just how short the book is and how quickly everything comes about. I think I was expecting more of an epic journey for Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace to find Mr Murry. But aside from that, it amazes me just how well this book has stood the test of time.There are phrases that obviously hail from another time, but overall the story and its themes are just a relevant today as they were 50 years ago.

Now I need to read the sequel, A Wind in the Door!

**Rereading this book reminded me of another book I read when I was a kid and for the life of me can’t remember what it was called. It was a young readers/YA book about a young girl who was sent to live with her aunts, I think after her parents died. And the aunts turned out to be witches. And that’s about all I remember. Does it ring a bell with anyone? It would have been published at least 15 years ago, if not earlier.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. May 30, 2012 6:06 am

    Oh yeah the characters are the best part. A Wind in the Door was a bit weird for me but definitely give it a shot!

    (That book sounds a bit like Sabrina The Teenage Witch. I have no idea if it’s a book though.)

    • June 11, 2012 12:04 pm

      I *does* sound like Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but I don’t think that was the one. That’s for your suggestion, though!

  2. talesofwhimsy permalink
    May 30, 2012 11:03 am

    This is one of those books I didn’t love because I didn’t read it as a kid first. I wish I could go back in time and place this book in my 12 year old hands.

    • June 11, 2012 12:06 pm

      Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have loved it if I hadn’t read it as a kid. But to be fair, I know lots of people who did read it as a kid and still didn’t like it. It’s one of those books that just isn’t for everyone.

  3. June 2, 2012 4:48 am

    Have you not read Wind in the Door before? When you were little or anything? It is indeed a little weird (though still good) — my favorite in the series might be A Swiftly Tilting Planet. Charles Wallace travels through time! Time travel is brilliant!

    • June 11, 2012 12:07 pm

      I haven’t! I didn’t even know there *were* sequels until just recently. But knowing there is more Charles Wallace to read about, I need to get my hands on all of them.

  4. June 2, 2012 8:28 am

    I didn’t read this book until a few years ago. Now I’m itching to read the rest of the books in the series, and will encourage the little ones in the house to read these books as well!

  5. June 4, 2012 2:36 am

    I read this for the first time 2 years ago. It’s another one of those childhood classics anyone has read, but I remained unfamiliar with as I grew up with “Dutch classics”. I did love it though. I want to reread it after reading your post.

    • June 11, 2012 12:13 pm

      A Wrinkle in Time is one of the few classic children’s books I actually read as a child. I unfortunately missed out on most of them by being too engrossed in Sweet Valley and RL Stine.

  6. June 6, 2012 3:54 am

    I haven’t read A Wrinkle in Time. I think one month I am going to dedicate it to the classics. I DO have the book now, but just haven’t gotten around to reading it.

    As for the book you are talking about — it almost kind of sounds like Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. Did she have a sister? Were the sisters followed by a love curse? Or like another commenter mentioned it could be Sabrina the Teenaged Witch (but I don’t remember her parents being dead.) In fact, even watching the show for as many years as I did, I can’t remember WHAT happened to her parents..

    Allison
    http://www.wellreadreviews.com

    • June 11, 2012 12:15 pm

      You really should read it – it’s really quick, so it won’t take you long to finish.

      Hmmm I watched nearly every episode of Sabrina, too, and I can’t remember what happened to her parents either.

      Practical Magic does sound very close to the book I’m thinking of, but the one I read was definitely a children’s/ young adult book.

  7. June 10, 2012 9:10 pm

    I remember reading and loving this book as a child, but I can’t remember much of it now. Time for a reread. I never did get around to reading the sequels though, so got to hunt for all 3 books now.

    Thanks for reminding me how good this book is.

    • June 11, 2012 12:16 pm

      This is exactly why I reread it :) I hope you’re able to get to it again and that you enjoy it just as much this time around!

  8. June 11, 2012 1:24 pm

    I have to read this for class! I’ve been hearing so much about this! I have no idea why I haven’t read this yet but your review makes me think that I will really like it.

  9. anovelsource1 permalink
    June 12, 2012 7:50 pm

    ALL of L’Engles books are so incredible to me! I especially love the relationship between Charles Wallace & Meg in this series, and then there’s the Austin series of which a ring of endless light is my fave. Oh and don’t forget many waters is the lesser known 4th book in the wrinkle in time series & it’s all about the twins!

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