Monday, August 3, 2009

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

So I've just finished A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, and I wasn't so sure that I would write a review of it. Mostly because I didn't grow up reading anything by L'Engle. After finishing the book I had this huge feeling that had I read it when I was younger, it would have changed the way I was arranged inside. That said, I am still impressed by this book.

Initially, I thought it was going to be a fantasy story. And there are definite elements of fantasy, but I totally see it as more Science Fiction. In an interview with L'Engle at the back of my edition (which also features a complete transcript of L'Engle's acceptance speech for her Newbery Award), she mentions reading about Einstein's theory of time and space, and it gave her the idea for tesseracts and space travel. I really, cerebrally, appreciated her explanantion, with pictures, of how Meg and crew could travel across the galaxy and visit other planets. I loved the placement and stark horror of CENTRAL central intelligence. All of the SciFi stuff was very cool and intelligently used.

I loved the character of Charles Wallace. I loved that he used his full name throughout. He was extremely intelligent but also very empathic and compassionate. I liked that L'Engle made Charles Wallace such an ambiguous and unique character. He's like a little miracle person, and I loved that he was in Meg's life. She was a little too hot-headed for me. Especially when she is so disappointed in her father near the end. She was such an arbiter of fairness throughout that I was annoyed when she judged her dad so harshly. And he was all like "Uh, I was trapped in a column of nothingness for a long time, cut me some slack" (not a direct quote--although that would have been hilarious).

I also thought that it ended a little abruptly. I would have liked a little more of a showdown, a Crossroads air-guitar reckoning. But, there are some very insightful and impactful observations about life, the living of it, light, dark and all the rest in this book that I will remember.
I'm afraid that this review, which is more of a whispy musing, won't do the book justice for those who grew up reading A Wrinkle in Time. If I had use for a tesseract it would be to deliver this book to my younger me.

I would also like to pass this book on to anyone who would like it. It's a beautiful edition with a forward by Anna Quindlen, an interview with L'Engle and a transcript of her Newbery speech. This little draw is open to anyone regardless of location; I will mail it out to you. I'll be using the random.org true random number generator, which I learned about through For the love of all that is written blog, to determine the winner. So please just leave your name and e-mail and consider yourself in the draw!

Mandy

You may also like:
Review of The Wand in the Word (interviews with Fantasy writers including L'Engle)

8 comments:

kiirstin said...

To be honest -- having read this book multiple times as a pre-teen, I loved it. And then I read it again as an adult and I was... disappointed. It didn't speak to me the way it did when I was a kid (and lonely and angry like Meg, frankly). Which I think, though it was a letdown for my adult self, says something very powerful about how well L'Engle wrote for kids. She was able to reach out my 12-year-old self in a very comforting way.

I find it very interesting to read your ideas about it, as someone who hadn't read it when you were younger, and I think you have written a very fair and very insightful (not wispy at all!) review.

I still consider this book a classic, and one of my favourite reads as a kid. I just won't read it again, unless I have someone to read it to. Also, I already have a copy, so please pass it on to someone else!

celi.a said...

I've only read this book once, at age 15 or 16. I liked it, but it wasn't earth-moving. I know I should read it again now and see if my feelings have changed (and also because I remember close to nothing about the book itself). I'd love to win it!

celialarsen(at)gmail(dot)com

Mandy said...

Kiirstin: I know what you mean about sharing this book with someone else. I would totally read this to a kid and know that there is still wonder in it. I had the same experience when I read The Neverending Story about a year ago for the first time; I felt that I would have liked it as a kid but that there was something missing for a reading adult. Interesting how that works.
Celi.a: It's funny that I felt a little nervous reviewing a loved classic because you never know if you are trodding on someone's beloved memories. And childhood book memories I am ALL about! So it's good to hear that you've had a similar experience with this book; it is good but not earth-shattering. Frankly, I read The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe when I was an adult only and I really loved it. Moreso than A Wrinkle in Time.
Thanks ladies!

Jen said...

Such a great book! That is indeed a lovely edition ^_^

Dannie said...

Hey, I'd love to! I haven't read A Wrinkle in Time in ages.

danielleeloko78 @ aol . com

Alyce said...

I loved reading this book when I was younger, and would love to read it again.

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Mandy said...

This draw is officially closed. Thank you so much to everyone who left comments! Stay tuned for more book giveaways in the future!

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