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. The story takes about 100 pages of tedious, banal dialogue, to get to the point where you are told that this is a battle against Evil, and all you need is love But everything is so oversimplified, so sketchy everything is reduced to big words, like IT, and evil This IT, also called the Dark Thing, is striving to create a communist type society where everyone conforms, down to the little children who bounce their balls in uniform rhythms and who live in cutter box houses I liked Meg in the beginning, she was a believable character, filled with her own problems, and I really wanted for things to work out for her But when she went on her journey, and especially since she got to that dreadful communist planet, she got hysterical She did not say anything for half of the book she yelled, gasped, screamed, cried, etc She got ticked off at everyone for everything.Then there might have been an indication that Charles Wallace was going to be a player, but he fizzled There are constant references to him being special, but we never find out what was so special about him, besides putting a 30 year old into a 4 year old body and calling it genius There was all this build up for the confrontation between him and IT, but nothing happened He looked at the guy, let him in, and became filled with ideas from Lenin himself.Then there are worlds These characters traveled to a planet that was described in three lines with beautiful flowers and a tall mountain Then another planet is not described at all except to say that it was a winter wonderland type of a place The residence of the Happy Medium was another planet where they were conveniently in a cave, and final stop was in a planet that was probably like Earth, except all we know about it is that it had rows of houses and tall buildings There you have it traveled all through the known Universe and have nothing to show for it No imagination to describe and develop a world.Then there are bizarre references to god s that come out of nowhere, or in the oddest places, and disappear into nowhere Characters are underdeveloped scenes are not finished worlds are left to themselves theme is the fear of religious right of the communist left.It s a caricature of evil, done perhaps in the belief that kids won t get it otherwise There s not much in terms of a plot, the worlds described are paper thin, and it shows no historical understanding, no outside knowledge.More of Purplycookie s Reviews Book Details Title A Wrinkle in Time Time 1 Author Madeleine L EngleReviewed By Purplycookie So 41 of my goodreads friends have read A Wrinkle in Time, 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 A Wrinkle in Time 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, A Wrinkle in Time 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 She tries to explain how time travel might workI wonder if so many kids, especially girls, liked this novel because they felt L Engle respected them as intelligent readers.Second, A Wrinkle in Time frames Meg s personality as multi faceted and 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 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 High School Musical 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 A Wrinkle in Time 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 A Wrinkle in Time Maybe little girls across America are googling tesseract as we speak 3.5 What a fun weird little story Am I the first living 64 year old who had never read this book until now March, 2017 that is Random Thoughts I was surprised to discover this story was about a little GIRL not a WIZARD.I was surprised that Meg, 13 years old, had three other siblings two twin brothers, Sandy and Dennys, and a younger brother, Charles Wallace Murray, who is a child prodigy..with parents who were scientist THERE IS A REAL FAMILY WITH REAL PEOPLE in this book NOT SURE WHY THIS SURPRISED ME..I m thinking HOT DAMN, I might like this story and my daughters might have but as far as I know they missed reading this one too Heck, the first page was great the first sentence was classic great It was a dark and stormy night What child doesn t perk up to hear a story with those first words So.I continue reading remembering that not long ago ELLIE praised this book SO HIGHLY.as her FAVORITE children s book she and I both have passion for the Velveteen Rabbit.that I KNEW I HAD TO FINALLY READ IT I bought a used copy at my recycle bookstore for a dollar THANK YOU ELLIE whewI m glad I didn t miss this gem I loved the characteristics of the kids and adults.each unique in their own ways.What creative names for characters Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Witch charming supernatural neighbors.as well as the lovely Aunt Beast The three W women escort Meg, Charles, and another boy, Calvin O Keefe from Meg s school through the universe by means of SCI FI UNIVERSE TRANSPORTATION tesseract A fifth dimensional phenomenon ET hasn t phoned home yet..on a mission to rescue Meg and Charles father Meg, and the Mrs W s all agree that the mysterious disappearance of the father is very strange and has something to do with the term tesseract After all he is a scientist and was working on a project before his disappearance The Trio W women and children travel through the universe and visit different planets a utopian world with creatures disguised as humans First they bump into evil then they are taken to a woman to look through a crystal ball The children are learning that there is both evil and good in the world They see much darkness through that crystal ball down here on planet earth They also see that artist s, and philosophers, and religious folks are fighting against the evil AT THIS POINT IF I WERE A CHILD I WOULD HAVE QUESTIONS THE CHILD ME WOULD ASK well, my daddy died I was 4 I d want to know if he left me because he got tired of all the fighting on earth and since I ve always wondered since the day he died not knowing what the hell that meant if he was coming back soon and could I go on the mission with Meg and bring my daddy back home too This book might have scared me as a child I would have needed a tender adult reading it with me ON WITH THIS STORY They soon travel to a planet called Camazotz where they find Meg s father trapped The planet is being controlled by an evil brain and with powerful telepathic abilities called IT This story begins to gets MORE SCARY I would have been on the edge of my seat Note I don t read much science fiction but the children are threatened by the possibility of their minds being controlled through a telepathic takeover Whew laughing.I was exhausted by the end..OF COURSE IT HAS A HAPPY ENDING I HATE that felt like crying in this children s book I hate all you people who told me it s a must read..because for this girl it WAS I LOVED IT you mean people I love believing there is GOOD in the world so why am I sad A special appreciation to the Goodreads community I might never have read this book without all the the LOVE EXPRESSION for this children s classic Thank you 3.5 5 Anybody else read it with this cover I did 1986, I was in 6th grade, and it was assigned to us by our teacher This book changed my world Or at least, my reading world Welcome to sci fi, kid I have no idea how many times I ve read this story, but as a child, I read it so much that this awesome cover eventually fell off So many great memories of these characters, and easily my favorite childhood novel.After doing a re read of it this year, I have to say it holds up pretty well for a book that was written in 1962 One of the things that helps it age so decently is that L Engle didn t have much in it that could age it No brand names, no popular trends, no references to any politics of the day The only stuff that really let you know you were reading a book written in the 60 s were Calvin saying things like Golly unironically or Charles Wallace being disrespectful by calling his father Popssnickers It s a very simple story that I read in just under 2 hours, but I remember it being complex enough when I was younger I think it hits all the right points for a kid who feels out of place and weird, and didn t we all feel out of place an weird at that age Yes Yes, we did.The only thing I was less excited about this time around were all the religious references, but the book is what it is, and you just kind of have to accept that God is a big theme in this and move on if you want to enjoy it It s not too preachy, so there s that.Will kids today like it I m trying to get mine to read it now, so ask me again in 6 months.But I d been putting off re reading this thing for 20 plus years and was pleasantly surprised that it was still such a charming story.Highly Recommendedfor nostalgia. It Was A Dark And Stormy NightOut 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 UniverseWinner Of The Newbery Medal, A Wrinkle In Time Is The First Book In Madeleine L Engle S Classic Time Quintet Thirteen year old Meg Murry s house is visited, on a dark and stormy night by a mysterious stranger named Mrs Whatsit who says, Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract Tesseract refers to confidential scientific work Meg s father conducted for the government before he went missing several years prior On the following day, Meg accompanies her little brother to Mrs Whatsit s house and finds herself unexpectedly swept away on an intergalactic adventure with hope of being reunited with her father Reaching for A Wrinkle in Time lends itself to high expectations L Engle s book won the Newbery Medal in 1963, has been adapted to film than once, and is heralded by many young and old alike as a longstanding favorite But, as a first time reader diving in with expectations fanned by the flames of so much praise, disappointment, it seems, was inevitable To be fair, several aspects of L Engle s distinguished novel are pleasing It opens with atmospheric writing that later gives way to fanciful descriptions In a commendably daring act, L Engle puts forth a female protagonist at a time and in a genre where female protagonists were not readily accepted Better still, young Meg is awkward and unattractive Her looks having been traded for smarts particularly in mathematics an intelligence that likely trickles down from her scientist father and mother It s easy to discern the value in L Engle s efforts to introduce young readers to complex scientific theories Yes, she makes them easy to understand, but she also avoids the mistake of thinking too little of her young audience, holding firm in her belief that the fluidity of a child s imagination allows them to grasp concepts that would baffle most adults Above all else, the fundamental messages of A Wrinkle in Time are lovely light must battle dark to keep it at bay moments of sorrow are what sweeten happiness individuality and free will are priceless and love is power But Meg is an irritating protagonist She s prone to fits and over reacting When she s not shrieking or screaming, she s confused or complaining The decision to go on an adventure isn t Meg s It s her younger brother, Charles Wallace, that declares they will depart, and Meg is merely whisked along, screaming and clutching to Calvin O Keefe one of the most popular boys in school along the way As empowered female protagonists go, Meg doesn t show her true colors until the end of the book With all due respect to Ms L Engle, her religious convictions saturate the story Despite exploring scientific theories and naming several artists and scientists, L Engle s religion remains front and center throughout the book The result is a title that seems better suited for a categorization in Christian fiction Any doubt of this is dashed away by L Engle s proclamation during her Newbery Medal acceptance speech that, In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth The extraordinary, the marvelous thing about the book of Genesis is not how unscientific it is, but how amazingly accurate it is Is it a mark against A Wrinkle in Time that Christian themes pervade the book Certainly not But is there any indication going in that a religious doctrine dictates this children s book None whatsoever Finally, as plot pacing goes, A Wrinkle in Time leaves much to be desired Halfway through the book, little has happened The second half is slightly less uneventful, but the final chapters feel rushed and the neat and tidy conclusion is far too convenient Though it s easy to appreciate the bold strides L Engle took as an author and the merit of her contribution to children s literature, A Wrinkle in Time s appeal seems to have gotten lost in the folds of time. Later note Had discussion with author about this book and why it means so much to so many people specifically women Also read excellent NYTimes piece about the fiftieth anniversary Some books are powerful for their readers because of their context in this case, the utter lack in popular kid s literature of 1962 of characters like Meg real girls, who cared about atypical subjects like math, who were unashamed to be other than pink wearing cheerleaders To find a powerful role model in a novel must be a wonderful thing, especially for bookish girls And maybe it makes sense that as a boy in the seventies, I missed that entirely Still, rereading as an adult, I found it unbearably heavy handed Hence the two star rating It was okay One of those overrated books the response to which defies explanation Clunky, heavy handed, and as obvious in its way as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe I was only ever able to force myself through this as an adult having been turned off of it by a filmstrip I saw in school , and no doubt this is the sort of novel like the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs that must be first loved as a younger reader Ugh.
2007 Crosswicks, Ltd Madeleine L Engle, President
- 211 pages
- A Wrinkle in Time
- Madeleine L'Engle
- 10 August 2019 Madeleine L'Engle