A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

October 22, 2013

wrinkle in time Plot summary (from the publisher): It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”

A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

Warning: Spoilers below!

Liked:

  • If I had to pick one thing to like about the book (a difficult task for me), I guess I’d say it was the fact that Meg overcame her insecurities about herself and was able to triumph in the end. Totally cliched for sure, but nevertheless a good message for young people.

Disliked:

  • I didn’t feel a connection to any of the characters, and it wasn’t just because I’m an adult and they were children. It was because the author didn’t take any time to develop these characters and give the reader a chance to get to know them. Instead of allowing us to spend quality time with the characters and showing us how Meg was ostracized by teachers and classmates or giving us clear examples of how smart Charles Wallace is, the author simply states these things and jumps right into the time travel stuff.
  • I couldn’t understand why it was so important to find Dr Murry NOW. At the beginning of the book, he’d already been gone for a lengthy period, so why the overwhelming desire to suddenly go after him? Maybe this was explained and I just missed it because I wasn’t paying attention. Either way, I didn’t feel as though the stakes in the story were particularly high. We didn’t know for certain that Dr. Murry’s life was in jeopardy or that he’d never return. We weren’t sure that he was in need of rescue. There should have been a “ticking bomb” to make the action feel more urgent.
  • Sci-fi/Fantasy is just not my genre at all, and this book reinforced my feelings. The crazy place and character names got on my nerves, and made me want to speed through the book that much faster so I could finally put it aside.

Rating:

A Wrinkle in Time is a book that has been on my radar since I was in elementary school. I remember all my friends reading and raving about it, but I never picked it up back then because it didn’t sound like my cup of tea. Why I decided to try it now is beyond me. I should’ve just trusted my 11-year-old instincts and stayed far away. I’ll never understand the awards, great reviews, and growing fandom of this book. I give it 1 star out of 5.

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