It was a dark and stormy night. ~ Opening of A Wrinkle in Time
A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet #1) by Madeleine L'Engle
Yearling Books, 1962
Science Fiction (Children's); 211 pgs
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 be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract".
Meg's father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?
A Wrinkle in Time is one of my husband’s favorite books from his childhood. He has two copies of the book, and he will not part with either one. I can’t blame him as I have a hard time letting go of my favorite books too. I was in elementary school when I first read it (and that was a very long time ago). I confess I do not really remember it. I remember The Wind in the Door more. That one was a favorite. I mostly wanted to reread A Wrinkle in Time because of the movie based on the book.
I kind of wish I was reading the novel to my daughter instead of just to myself (I can always go back and read it to her, of course) because it seems like the perfect story for someone her age. The concepts of good and evil, believing in oneself, of loss and discovery, and of dealing with one’s emotions, including anger and hope are all presented in a way a school-aged child can easily grasp. There are scary moments, but not overly so, and the characters, especially the three Mrs. are bigger than life. There’s magic and monsters; and Meg, Calvin and Charles Wallace are very easy to relate to and cheer on. A Wrinkle in Time is a combination of funny, charming and thoughtful. I admit to being surprised at how obvious the religious overtones were, however. I don’t remember that at all about the series.
All in all though, I was a bit let down by the novel, but I think it had more to do with my own expectations of books as an adult versus those meant for a much younger crowd. I kept hoping for more . . . something. I am having trouble putting my thoughts into words, I am afraid. Still, this is a book I think my daughter would enjoy very much.
I had heard beforehand that the movie was quite a bit different from the book. My entire family enjoyed the film. There were the expected changes, in part to fit a larger and more modern audience. The movie is beautiful from a cinematic perspective, from the sets to the costumes to the CGI. It was very well done. I thought it followed the overall story of the movie well enough—up to a point. Some of the characters come across differently, particularly the mother and the father of Meg. Calvin’s backstory. Even Charles Wallace’s backstory. The movie has a few holes. But that may just be my perspective having recently read the book (when don’t I feel this way about a movie based on a book I have read?). And while I enjoyed it, this isn’t a movie that stands out for me or makes my “watch again and again” list (only if my daughter makes me).
To learn more about Madeleine L'Engle and her work, please visit the author's website.
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