June 4, 2012

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (Random House, re-issue 2005)

Winner of the Newberry in 1963, A Wrinkle in Time is the rare sort of book that manages multiple threads on multiple levels seamlessly while following a perfectly linear arc. The book opens on a “dark and stormy night” with misfit Meg Murry having hot chocolate with her mother and brother, Charles Wallace, an uncanny four-year-old savant. When a stranger comes in from the storm, the stage is set for what becomes an extraordinary journey through time and space to save Meg and Charles Wallace’s missing astrophysicist father. On one level, A Wrinkle in Time is a beautifully executed, if unsettling, adventure featuring a disturbing set of antagonists, including a repulsive, disembodied brain with the power of mind control. On another level, it is the story of Meg’s coming of age as she realizes that her beloved father is not omnipotent, and that she herself is more capable than she realizes. It is a sophisticated masterpiece with science, mathematics, philosophy and religion sprinkled throughout. L’Engle expects much from her readers and more than rewards the effort. The first in L'Engle's celebrated Time Quintet, A Wrinkle in Time is celebrating it's 50th Anniversary this year. It deserves quite a party, I think. 

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