Shop Indie Bookstores
A Wrinkle In Time, Madeleine L'Engle, Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1962, 203 pp
This classic won the Newbery Award in 1963. I just read it for the third time and discovered new layers to the story.
In 1994, I wrote in my reading journal: "Three children travel through time and the universe to rescue their father by overcoming evil with love." A slight inaccuracy there is that he was the father of only two of the children, the third one being a friend of the kids.
In 2010, I wrote about the Christian influence being much lighter than that in the Narnia books by C S Lewis and about how Meg, the daughter, was a fine female character right up there with Lara from The Golden Compass. I found both the parents and the children to be more true to life than those in many other Newbery winning books from earlier years.
Each time I read the book, I was enchanted by Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Whosit, and Mrs Which. Who can resist the younger brother Charles Wallace? This time I recognized him as a kid somewhere on the Autism spectrum. Also I was suddenly aware that the father had been involved in the Manhattan Project and the science behind the atom bomb. I can only assume that my reading over the past several years, including both the President Truman and the Oppenheimer biographies, gave me enough knowledge to recognize this as a concern and a manifestation of evil in 1962! And then there is the tesseract!!
I have read and loved four of L'Engle's early novels written for adults. (The Small Rain, A Winter's Love, And Both Were Young, and Camilla.) Her writing for children loses something that is especially wonderful in those novels, though some of that remains. A Wrinkle In Time saved her writing career, dying due to low sales. Even so, this children's novel requires a high reading level for 8-12 year olds.
I hadn't realized that there is a Wrinkle In Time series. I have four more books to look forward to. Then there is the movie coming out next March!
(A Wrinkle In Time is available in paperback on the shelves at Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)