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Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle (review)



Genre:Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publication Date:1962
Pages:238
Where to get:B&N, Amazon,
MACMILLAN:A Wrinkle in Time
A Wrinkle in Time - Goodreads





     Meg's father mysteriously disappears after experimenting with the fifth dimension of time travel. Determined to rescue him, Meg and her friends must outwit the forces of evil on a heart-stopping journey through space and time. A commemorative edition with an Introduction by the author. A Newbery Medal winner.
(goodreads.com)


"No" Charles Wallace said. "I have to go on. We have to make our own decisions, and we can't make them if they're based on fear."
"Maybe I don't like being different," Meg said, "but I don't want to be like everybody else, either."
"The heart has its reasons whereof reason knows nothing."



     A Wrinkle in Time is a wonderful and heart-warming science fiction novel by Madeleine L'Engle. First in series of books about Murry and O'Keefe families, it's a classic Young Adult book, one, that every YA fan should have on his/her shelf.

     The heroin of this story is a young and incredibly talented in math, Meg Murry. She is one extraordinary and unique girl, perhaps even a little bit too much than she'd like to be, as it makes it hard for her to fit in at school. Troubled by personal insecurities, Meg seems to be lonely and often misunderstood. The braces she's wearing, together with her thick glasses and always messy hair, only add to the image of a weird, "awkward" and troublesome kid.

     Meg's family is not one of the ordinary kind either. Both her parents are scientists. Her mom is a stunningly beautiful woman, with degrees in both bacteriology and biology. Her father, a physicist, is gone working on some kind of Top Secret project and no one knows exactly where  he is or when will he be back. Meg has three brothers and she loves them all very much, especially the youngest one, Charles Wallace. Charles is an adorable and gifted five-year-old boy. He didn't talk until he reached the age of four, at which time he began speaking in full sentences. Even now he doesn't really speak to anyone except for his own family, which leads people to believe he is "a moron". One of Charles' many talents, is being able to emphatically or telepathically "read" certain people's thoughts and feelings.

     The story begins with the unexpected visit of Mrs. Whatsit on a dark and stormy evening. Although she appears to be just an ordinary elderly woman wrapped in layers of clothes, she's actually a celestial creature and her true form is a centaur-like winged being. Just like Mrs. Which and Mrs. Who, she once was a star, who sacrificed itself by exploding in order to destroy a section of the Black Thing, an evil being attacking the universe. After drying her feet and having a snack with Meg's family, Mrs. Whatsit is ready to leave. However, before she does, she tells Mrs. Murry that "there is such a thing as a tesseract". This seems to upset Meg's mom a lot and nearly causes her to faint.

     Meg is set on discovering what this term refers to and how is it related to disappearance of her father. The following morning, accompanied by her brother, Charles, and a school friend, Calvin O'Keefe, she goes to visit an old haunted house near town, where Mrs. Whatsit lives together with her two friends, Mrs. Who and Mrs.Which. There Mrs. Whatsit reveals to children that the universe is under attack of evil forces. She tells them that their father, while working on a secret project to achieve faster-than-light travel, was accidentally trapped on Camazots, an alien planet controlled by the Black Thing. She also explains what a tesseract is and that they could use it to travel to Camazots in order to save Mr.Murry.
     This will be the beginning of their great and dangerous adventure through time and space.

     Wrinkle in Time is no doubt one of the greatest works of literature for kids. It's an inspiring and empowering book, that teaches us about friendship, love, courage, importance of individuality and non-conformity. If you ever felt "different" or lonely, if you had to deal with loss of someone close to you - this is the book for you.
     It's one of the very few books I will surely be re-reading in the future! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I can't wait to pick up the next book in the series.



Other titles in the Time Quintet series are:





46 comments:

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

This is a book I read when my son was in grade school and again 8 years later with my daughter. I promised myself each time to read the rest of the series. Thanks for reminding me of this great book. Off to see if I still have a copy.

(\___/)
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alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I totally agree. This was an AMAZING book. I didn't read the rest of the series when I was younger because my library didn't have them.

Belle said...

I've never read this series, I really must get onto it!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

A very good series. The books were on my shelf in my classroom when I was teaching for the students to read.

Bonnie said...

Ummm... I hate to admit that I have never read this series. I really should do something about that! Great review.

A Backwards Story said...

I have so much love for this series! I liked her Austin books more, but loved this as well!

Christine Amsden said...

I read this one at least twenty times when I was a teen! I loved it. Meg reminded me of me. :)

Soon Hana said...

I have never read this series but I did watch a movie based on this book once. Can't really remember how it went though.

I bet the book is better but I've never seen a copy anywhere

melydia said...

I recently saw the stage version of this. I loved the book, but the play was just fascinating - very minimalist while making good use of special effects. If there happens to be a production near you, be sure to check it out.

Great review, btw!

Kulsuma said...

This sounds great! I will have to pick it up soon. I'd heard of this but I didn't know it was a quintet!

ABookVacation said...

I had to read this when I was in 6th grade. I hated it. But, it's been a long time, and your review is making me think I should give it another shot--perhaps I only hated the book because I hated the teacher that read it to us... lol.

Jolene and Family said...

How weird is it that I never read this book???? I heard about it so many times and can't believe I have yet to read it. I've been on a buying spree of getting books for my kids that are deemed classics and books I read growing up, so I am adding this to the list :)

Sakira said...

Wow. I'm getting nostalgic. My mom bought this for me a while ago, but I stopped reading it because... I don't know. Maybe I couldn't appreciate this as a child. I need to go pick it off the shelf, dust it, and get reading it! It sounds so amazing!!!

Kris

yogini mama said...

When people ask me what my favorite book is (impossible question, right?) A Wrinkle In Time is always one of my top 3. I first read it when I was in 4th grade and now I'm 27 and I've read it, and the rest of the books in the series once every couple of years. I can't wait for my daughter to be old enough for me to share them with her. <3

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I am so sorry to admit this, but I have never read anything by Madeleine L'Engle, although I've been repeatedly told by trusted sources that she's brilliant. Your review has served as a reminder that I MUST rectify my mistake, and get my hands on this book ASAP! :)

~Hira~
GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

Orchid said...

I've lost track of the number of times I have read this book, it is just that good.
So nice to see a review for it (and I'm glad you enjoyed it).

Orchid
The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

Zareen said...

This is such a classic book; I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't read it yet. Every positive review makes me want to read it more.

Aleetha said...

The local publisher has translated this book into my language. But I have not grab it. The characters sounds so great. I will try to find away to bring this book home

blackplume said...

This is in my TBR for quite awhile. I think I should get to start reading this soon.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I love Meg Murry and have recently speculated that the fantastic adventure in A Wrinkle in Time is merely a vehicle for her character development and the restoration of her family. (This may sound as if I'm putting the novel down, but since it didn't stand up to my memories of it during my last reread, this way of looking at it actually redeems it somewhat in my eyes.)

Have you started the next book in the series yet? I think I like it better of the two, though the third is the universal, undisputed favourite. I hope you get to that one soon! =)

ishita said...

I remember reading this book in 5th grade...oh the memories :D !! the other books are really good too hope to see more reviews !

Janine said...

Wow, I've heard alot of this book! Must get it sometime ;P

Zakiya LadyWings said...

Good review. I have seen this book a lot lately for some reason. Will have to look into it if you say its good. Have heard very many things about it-- good and bad.

Manda said...

OOh, I LOVE this book. I reallly wanna reread it now, and the ones I never got to.

Ishita aka Fishy said...

I remember reading this book in the 3rd grade oh how i loved it ! i didn't know it was a series...i'm gonna go finish it now ! :D

SweetestLittleBookworm said...

I have never read this book, but lately, I have really wanted to read it, and it lives near the absolute top of my TBR list. Since reading your review, I think I may need to actually buy it instead of checking it out of the library. It sounds absolutely incredible, and I think my children will love it right along with me...which makes it even better.

ibeeeg said...

I have never read this book to the horror of my best friend. I really should, it is mentioned in one of my favorite books of last year, the Newbery Medal winner - When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Miss Lauren said...

I honestly couldn't remember a thing about this book until I read your review. It has been waaay too long since I've read it. Since it's a quick read, I think I'll re-read it.

Paper Cut Reviewer said...

I read this book in 4th grade which was a very long time ago, lol. I still remember it to this day and you are right it's a great must read for the kiddies and hey even the adults;) Great review and thanks for the blast from the past=)

Thanks!
Steph

Janinay said...

I have a copy of this that is still in my to-read stack. Which is a mountainous stack. :))

Janine said...

wow, this book is ooold :S

DeeDeeBamaGirl said...

I have been meaning to read this book and I did not realize that it was a series. I will be adding this to my To Read List. Thank you for the review!

aurora M. said...

I have read this one and glad I did. It deserves it's medal win! Thanks for sharing for others.

Krystal said...

I was never sure if I liked this author or not, but I might give this one a try.

Julie said...

I read this book when I was younger, and I saw it at the bookstore recently and almost picked it up to read it again. Now I wish that I had! I loved it so much when I first read it, and I really want to revisit it and experience it all over again :)

jwitt33 at live dot com

Leah said...

I've read this novel and its a fabulous book! and the movie version, disney i think, that came out several years ago is pretty good too. this is pretty much a timeless story!
Leah

Sky said...

A timeless story! Awesome!

Allison said...

This is one of my favorite books from childhood. I re-read it as an adult and loved it even more. I can really relate to Meg.

Yvonne said...

Great review. Never heard of this book before

Katharyn said...

I am so glad you enjoyed this book! I just couldn't get into it. Maybe I will try again in the future

Melori said...

I totally agree that this book is written by skillful author and it has some really strong moments, also the characters are good developed. But I have to admit that it just wasn't my cup of tea and even though I reminded myself several times that it is a classic novel and as a fantasy and science-fiction lover I should really love this I just couldn't get into it. I didn't feel compelled to read the other books in the series but I can see the qualities why the others love it, it just didn't work for me.

Munnaza said...

I had to read this book in high school and I completely agree - it is a phenomenal work of literature and one of my favorite reads ever. I loved your analysis of its themes, and your summary was spot on. Fantastic review!

Quigui said...

I read this a while ago for the first time, and it didn't quite work for me. But I ended up with the feeling that if I had read it when I was younger, I would have loved it, and would still love it. Weird, isn't it?

Fenny Wong said...

Goodness, the cover! I love it! <3 I haven't read this book, as I came from a country in which English is not the dominant language. They haven't translated this yet, but now I think I can venture to bookstore in my current place to find it. Curious!

Jaime Lester said...

I feel really bad that I haven't read classics like this. Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Anna Karenina. This one. But this one sounds absolutely fascinating. I think this might be my first. Well, after Jane Eyre. I promised a friend. Thanks for the review!

princesshoran said...

This book sounds so good! I've been thinking about reading it before and was going to buy it from a bookstore but went with another book instead... but I think I'll have to go back and buy this book now, it seems wonderful!

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