A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time

It was a dark and stormy night.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.Winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal, A Wrinkle in Time is the first book in Madeleine L'Engle's clas...

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Title:A Wrinkle in Time
Author:Madeleine L'Engle
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Edition Language:English

A Wrinkle in Time Reviews

  • Sara

    the book that first inspired me to tentatively pick up my pencil and my marbled black-and-white composition notebook (remember those?) and write (in 4th grade). the influence l'engle herself and her work have had on my life cannot be understated. i met her many many years later, during college, when she was well into her 80s, but she was exactly as i pictured her-- spirited, engaging, challenging. when i (very nervously and shyly) told her that she gave me my first inspiration to write, she look

    the book that first inspired me to tentatively pick up my pencil and my marbled black-and-white composition notebook (remember those?) and write (in 4th grade). the influence l'engle herself and her work have had on my life cannot be understated. i met her many many years later, during college, when she was well into her 80s, but she was exactly as i pictured her-- spirited, engaging, challenging. when i (very nervously and shyly) told her that she gave me my first inspiration to write, she looked me in the eyes and, with a genuineness in her tone i can't describe, thanked me. i gave her my book to be autographed. she signed in it an handed it back to me. as i walked away, i read her inscription, which said, with love and a flourish, "ananda!" i admit it-- i had to look it up to find out what it meant and when i did, my respect for her grew even deeper (i won't get into the entire background of the word/name here, you can google it yourself). "ananda" means bliss or joy. it was so perfect, i nearly cried.

    an amazing book and an amazing woman.

  • RandomAnthony

    So 41 of my goodreads friends have read

    , but I never picked up the book until these past few weeks. I’m not sure how this novel and I slipped past each other in my youth. I’m guessing that since the main character was a girl I wasn’t that interested in middle school and when I grew older the science fiction elements didn’t appear strong enough to snag my interest. Oh well. Last weekend I bought

    at a Borders near the Seattle airport. I wanted the novel to get m

    So 41 of my goodreads friends have read

    , but I never picked up the book until these past few weeks. I’m not sure how this novel and I slipped past each other in my youth. I’m guessing that since the main character was a girl I wasn’t that interested in middle school and when I grew older the science fiction elements didn’t appear strong enough to snag my interest. Oh well. Last weekend I bought

    at a Borders near the Seattle airport. I wanted the novel to get me through the grueling twelve hour journey (whoo, flight delays and pre-dawn connecting flights!) home, and I thank Ms. L’Engle for the perfect story for early hour near-hallucinatory reading in the middle of the Minneapolis International promenade.

    What makes this book so good? First off,

    works under the assumption that kids are smart enough either to grasp the nuances of some fairly deep physics or, if they don’t get every detail, they’ll flow with the storyline anyway. One woman I know said, “I didn’t understand all the science when I was a kid but I still loved it.” That makes sense to me. Hell, I didn’t understand all the science now, and I’m (supposedly) a grown-up. L’Engle doesn’t just say, “And then they traveled time.”

    I wonder if so many kids, especially girls, liked this novel because they felt L’Engle

    them as intelligent readers.

    Second,

    frames Meg’s personality as multi-faceted and more complex than just about any I’ve encountered in YA literature. In fact, reading this novel I couldn’t help but consider her a template on which some more modern coming-of-age characters (think Harry Potter) were modeled. She’s brave but doubts her own strength in an tangible, authentic manner. And her relationship with Calvin is sweet without getting all

    .

    Third, the evil in this novel is damn scary and the darkness pure and substantial. We’re talking elemental, unadulterated evil that manifests itself in the fear and conformity of those who break down in its presence. And the characters’ encounters with this evil feel real. The climatic scenes are perhaps slightly too swift but the nuances of the battle fit well with a remarkably philosophical (and Christian, but in a positive way) resolution of good and evil’s conflict.

    If my friends’ reviews are any indication a lot of smart girls who turned into strong, intelligent women grew up under the spell of

    . I feel like I know them a little better after reading this novel, and I can see them all, around age ten, turning the book’s pages in their rooms, feeling their own strength and potential. And that’s damn cool, really, don’t you think, a whole generation of girls reading

    ? Maybe little girls across America are googling “tesseract” as we speak…

  • Zoë

    3.5/5

  • Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)

    3.5*

    What a fun weird little story!

  • Paige

    First, understand that I am editing this review after several outraged responses. I knew that "Wrinkle" was considered to be a classic, but I was unaware that it was considered a Beloved Classic Beyond Criticism. I read this in grade school and just REread it aloud, to my daughter. I didn't have a clear memory of it, though I remember that I loved the way it started. Now I realize why I forgot so much of it. I STILL love the first 3 chapters, and dislike the rest. But since some of you found (an

    First, understand that I am editing this review after several outraged responses. I knew that "Wrinkle" was considered to be a classic, but I was unaware that it was considered a Beloved Classic Beyond Criticism. I read this in grade school and just REread it aloud, to my daughter. I didn't have a clear memory of it, though I remember that I loved the way it started. Now I realize why I forgot so much of it. I STILL love the first 3 chapters, and dislike the rest. But since some of you found (and WILL find, I'm sure) my review to be judgmental, harsh and undiplomatic (a review IS a critique, right?) to the point of insulting, I thought I'd do a little research, look over the book again, think about it some more. So I've edited this review. But I find I just can't retract my statements. They are my opinion, that's all, and I haven't changed my mind. I can only try to be open minded, be honest, and try to explain my thoughts & feelings more clearly. Otherwise, I'd be a simpering fake.

    Like C.S. Lewis books (especially the last of his Chronicles of Narnia, The Last Battle), A Wrinkle In Time has strong, (heavy-handed, I think), overtones of Christian doctrine. I'm not anti-spiritual, but I have a personal discomfort with this kind of religious doctrine. (You many not, and that's fine.) But more than that issue, the book is an odd combination of intelligent hard science, interesting quantum science that is brushed over, and quotes from the bible. At least there are a few respectful mentions of other spiritual leaders from other cultures, and moral messages from classic literature and philosophers. I understand this combination garnered criticism from both religious fundamentalists as well as atheists and secular society. L'Engle has earned my respect for taking on the difficult and controversial marriage of science and religion. She has also earned my criticism for raising this issue and then failing to really grapple with it. It's treated lightly, as though it's a natural thing that should be easy to accept, in spite of the many holes and inconsistencies in her story. I wouldn't even mind, except that this book takes itself SO seriously! It's easy to imagine that a school teacher might use this book to demonstrate that Evolutionist Theory and Creationism can be combined, but I find science and religion to have a disjointed and uneasy coexistence in this book. One is always dropped abruptly for the other. Or at least, it seems so to me.

    Ok. Now that I have tackled that big one, let's move on. I found the characters rather flat, (the genius child, the misfit girl, the beautiful, genius, scientist mother who nonetheless stays home and cooks stew in bunsen burners while her husband has adventures). The story itself is made up of vague scenarios of conflict of the psyche and spirit, with the entire Universe at stake. L'Engle's metaphors are obvious and their manifestations flat. [SPOILER ALERT] There is a quest to fight a "Darkness" (oooh!) that wants to rid us all of individuality & free will. There are 3 beings who used to be stars before they died in the fight with the "Darkness" and became something beyond our comprehension. They can appear in any form to us, so that we have some way of processing their existence. They are, in fact, so beyond anything knowable that I can't feel much for them or say much about them, except that they make a convenient plot device for transporting the characters throughout the Universe and the story. Anyway, the "Darkness" takes over a planet which turns into a kind of sci-fi beehive, with brainwashed automatons. I found the planet to be delightfully creepy and would have liked to know more about it, (even if it seems suspiciously like a thinly veiled anti-communist warning message.) So guess what's doing the brainwashing? - a giant, evil, disembodied brain, called IT, who is personally responsible for spreading the Darkness across the Universe. Really? A brain? Doesn't anyone else find this simplistic and cliche? The main character defeats this brain by gushing love. I am quite sure that many, many readers were moved to tears by Meg's gushing, but I do not happen to be that kind of person. Before Meg realizes that she has the power to gush love, the crusaders tesser through time and space (no explanation of how the father can do this) to a fascinating planet with very interesting aliens who can't see, but have other senses. I'd have loved to know more about their society and these mysterious other senses, but again, these ideas aren't very developed.

    These are the things in this book, and in L'Engle's writing that I love: As I mentioned, I love her courage in at least attempting a controversial issue like mixing science and spirituality. I love that this book has the heart to recognize love as the greatest power, and that it has the wisdom to recognize fear as one of the biggest weapons. I love that individuality prevails, and the romantic in me approves of the loving, whole family. I love that she has enough respect for children that she included difficult vocabulary and a few difficult concepts. Many children are far more capable of handling complex ideas than we give them credit for, especially if we expose them to these things early on. I love that L'Engle doesn't underestimate them in this way, at least initially, on the surface. Since my biggest problems with this book all involve my finding it simplistic, naive, and certain parts of it cliche & obvious, I wonder if I need to remind myself that it's meant for children. Perhaps children should be idealistic, or even naive, in the way that this book is. But then I wonder if that is another way of underestimating them. ESPECIALLY since I felt exactly the same way when I read this book as a child!

    Wind In The Willows makes me feel closer to God, or a creative power (though there's some gushing in there too, at the end.) The Jungle Book explores social constructs and morals, more deeply and naturally, for me. A Sound Of Thunder blew my mind, in grade school, with its "butterfly effect" theory of the power and responsibility of each individual. All of these are childrens' books, though they span generations, and time and space, more gracefully than tessering did for me. I could name so many more.

    But, if A Wrinkle In Time opened your mind to new ideas, (instead of making you feel frustrated by light treatment of them), made you question some latent prejudice, (instead of feeling bored by obvious metaphors), lifted your spirits & made you cheer for bookish outcasts, (instead of feeling that no one is that one-dimensional) or cry for the love of a big sister & little brother, (instead of cringing when a version of "I love you Charles Wallace" appears 19 times in 2 pages), then it is a wonderful book. For you.

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