Author: Madeline L’Engle
Publishers: Dell Books; Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Awards: John Newberry Medal; Sequoyah Book Award; Lewis Carroll Shelf Award
Series: The Time Quartet
Genres: Classic; Fantasy; Sci-Fi
This is a most unusual book. I feel embarrassed, yet compelled to say that I really didn’t know anything about this book until I started reading it. Of course, I had heard of it, but I didn’t know anything about the plot, the characters, or even the genres. I also didn’t know that this is in fact the first book of a quartet. After reading this, I will definitely read the other books.
The style of the book is nothing unusual at first glance, but after getting a few chapters into the book I marveled at how L’Engle managed to keep me on track with this most complicated plot. I still don’t know how she did it, but I’m still suspicious. The author manages to write a serious good with quite a grave and even slightly disturbing plot (a sure sign of a classic to a kid), yet she manages to pack whimsy and awe in this short book. Oh, by the way, this is probably the shortest classic book I’ve ever read, only about 200 pages in an older standard novel size. Then again, it’s part of a series – you don’t have to have a long book. My favorite part was how the author explained what a tesseract (a wrinkle in time) is. I wish the author would have focused more on describing the characters. Although it was not necessary for the plot, it would be more enjoyable picturing the characters and what they’re doing if you knew what they actually looked like. The name itself is weird, because the adventure has lots to do with special kinds of wrinkles, but little of the wrinkles are time wrinkles. But I guess it depends on your perspective. The wrinkles aren’t wrinkles in time, but they do save lots of time.
Our three main characters are Meg, Charles, and Calvin. I can’t really describe their looks or age, because L’Engle doesn’t really say a lot of that stuff. I do know though that Meg is a stubborn, unattractive girl who gets into fights and is slowly turning into a delinquent. Those last two are mainly because of her father, who supposedly left on a government mission and hasn’t returned so far. Charles is an unusual young child and Megs younger brother, who has an uncanny way of, well, knowing things. He knows when his family is upset and comforts them easily. Calvin is not related to the Murrys (Murry is Meg and Charles’s last name), but he plays an extremely important part in the story. They have three mysterious friends who help them travel through the universe and defeat the forces of evil. The trio of friends go on a mission to rescue their father, but near the end it turns out much larger than they think.
I really enjoyed reading this interesting book. The plot was complicated, yet strangely easy to understand. Although I said earlier that there were grave and slightly disturbing problems in the book, they are not severe, and I would recommend this book to anyone ages 10 and up.
Posted by: Fred Reads