Aug 17, 2011

About Books Blog 47: A Wrinkle in Time


Author: Madeleine L’Engle
Genre: Children’s/Young Adult/Science Fiction/Fantasy

Favorite Line

“We look not at the things which are what you would call see, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal. But the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Summary (

Everything is wrong in Meg Murray's life. In school, she's been dropped down to the lowest section of her grade. She's teased about her five-year-old brother, Charles Wallace, who everyone mistakenly thinks is dumb. Not to mention that Meg wears braces and glasses and has mouse-brown hair.

Much will be better in her miserable life when her father gets back. But gets back from where? Meg's physicist father had been experimenting with the fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. One dark and stormy night, the family is visited by a disheveled heap of a woman named Mrs. Whatsit. Eccentric and brilliant, she will turn out to be the force who spurs on Meg, Charles Wallace, and their new friend, Calvin O'Keefe, to embark on a dangerous quest through space to find their father. In doing so, they must travel behind the shadow of an evil power that is darkening the cosmos.

My Thoughts

I will never forget one of my grade school teachers reading A Wrinkle in Time to us in class. It was not only an introduction to a great story, but for me it was an introduction to science fiction. I was so inspired back then I read the rest of the books in the series. However, I hadn’t looked at them in a long time since, and I missed having the story in my life. In re-reading this, I realized that the real beauty of A Wrinkle in Time is that you can appreciate it at any age. A young person can enjoy the excitement of reading about kids who travel into the unknown and face great evil. An adult can choose to enjoy not only the story, but also the novel’s many complexities.

A Wrinkle in Time centers such wonderful themes such as loyalty, finding family connections, celebrating our differences, and many more. The book uses a lot of religious symbolism, which I found quite interesting. I think it is amazing the way the author balanced the scientific and the emotional elements in the book. She was also brave enough to use a huge vocabulary in book for young people, which I really appreciated. I just love learning new big words.

The words beautiful and awesome come to mind when I think of the characters in the novel. They are so easy to relate to. I think everyone can see parts of themselves in Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace. However, I think most of us can identify with Meg the most. She often feels like she doesn’t fit in her own skin, and rarely sees how lovely and important she is to others. I mean who hasn’t felt like that occasionally. I love the bond that is created between the three main characters. They always seek ways to care for and protect one another. The reader can really sense their bond by the way it is written. I have to mention that Meg and Calvin are so adorable. Though their relationship is only just developing in this book, they share one of those one of those immediate emotional connections. It is so cute. To add to this already fabulous bunch of characters, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which are great eccentric fun. They always have great wisdom to offer. They also know when to lighten the mood in the story when the need calls for it.

I have to say I loved A Wrinkle in Time as a kid, but I think I loved it more as an adult. It is a wonderful adventure with so many facets.

Facts I Found Interesting

My copy of the book has a question and answer section with the author in the back. If you want to know what inspired Madeleine L’Engle and other shiny facts about her personally, you should give it a read. Even after reading that I couldn’t get off the fact-finding train. Here are a few more facts I found interesting.

1. Much of L’Engle’s interest in quantum physics is infiltrated into the novel. Though she claimed she was never very interested in science in school, she found she very much understood particle science when she read it on her own.

2. A Wrinkle in Time is listed as number 22 on the American Library Association’s list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books 1990 - 2000.

3. Twenty-six publishers rejected the book before it was finally published in 1963.

4. Graphic novelist Hope Larson is said to be working on adapting the novel into a graphic novel. That would be so shiny!

5.A Wrinkle in Time was adapted into a play in 2010 by John Glore. The play is written for six actors with twelve parts. This sounds kind of wacky in a cool way.

The Movie

The movie is certainly not for the A Wrinkle in Time purest. It’s not bad though. I had a few qualms with it, but there were things I liked too. I liked how well they interpreted the imagery. It has to be difficult to re-create things like time and space travel (a.k.a the tesseract), and the various alien creatures in the book. I think they did that part well. I liked the actors they cast for Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace. I felt they captured the essence of what the characters were like in the book. This was a factor that was important to me going into watching this adaptation, so I’m glad that that worked out. I would have been happier if they had put some glasses and braces on Meg. However, I think they were trying to modernize the piece so I’m going to give them that one. I didn’t care for the placement of the events, and the beginning was a little slow. I think there were a lot of things that were added to the story in the movie that it could've done without. Sometimes I didn't agree with their interpretation of the supporting characters, and Charles Wallace's gifts. Of course, Disney made it so they had some of those...Disney-ified moments. You know those moments in the Disney TV movies that make you want to roll your eyes. You do know what I am talking about right?

Overall it was okay. Weirdly the things I disliked and the things I liked balanced each other out. I wasn’t overly satisfied with it. Still I was at least entertained and they didn’t do anything too crazy to the story. It’s not something I would want to watch a bunch of times, but nothing in it bothered me so badly that I wouldn’t watch it if it was on TV. I saw on Wikipedia that last year Disney announced that they plan to re-make the movie. Yay! Please let the remake lean more toward the direction of awesomeness. By the way, do rent the DVD for the interview with Madeleine L’Engle in the special features. It’s interesting and worth watching.

Music To Read By

This was the first book I completed on my Nook Color, which happened to come with the Pandora Radio application already installed. Thus, I discovered the beauty of Pandora and I love it. My favorite thing to do while reading this was listening to my Fireflight radio station. To me the music really fit what I was reading. I think the playlist became more of a representation of my favorite songs and bands that I listened to while reading the book, rather than songs that actually fit the story. I did try to pick songs that share similar themes to the story even if they don't fit the story exactly.

A Wrinkle In Time Playlist

For Those Who Wait - Fireflight
Never Alone - Barlow Girl
Anticonformity - Krystal Meyers
There for You - Flyleaf
Hallelujah - Paramore
Collide - Skillet
Fight Inside - Red
Breathe - Superchick
Always - Plumb
Brand New Day (Acoustic) - Fireflight

That's all my loves. Happy reading and keep it shiny!!!

1 comment:

Teacher/Learner said...

I also loved this book as a kid but haven't reread it in some time. I have a copy stashed away somewhere with loads of other children's books should I need a kid lit fix :D