Many Waters by Madeline L’Engle

Many Waters (Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet)Summary: The twins, Sandy and Denis, go back into biblical history and find their place in their special family.

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Many Waters is the fourth book in Madeline L’Engle’s Time Quintet.  It was not published until 1986, almost a decade after the third book and 24 years after the first book of the series.  Chronologically, it is set between books 2 and 3.  Because I got these at the library, due to availability, I listened to it in chronological order.

I have not previously read this book.  It has a very different feel to the first three books.  First, it almost entirely about the twins, Denis and Sandy, who are minor characters in the first three books.  Second, it feels a bit older than the previous books.   The twins are 15 in Many Waters (the same age as Charles Wallace in Swiftly Tilting Planet).  There is a love triangle between the twins and a girl in the book.  There is also another female character that is trying to seduce the twins.  While there are no sex scenes there is an understanding that sex is going on ,off the page, among other characters.  Children are conceived and born (the birth scene is fairly graphically described, but not inappropriate).  I would estimate that this book is more appropriate to at least middle school if not high school.

Previous books involved space travel, shrinking to go into the cells in a body and going back in history.  Many Waters travels to biblical history, specifically the time of Noah and the flood.  Any time you write a fictionalized account of a biblical story, someone will be offended.  L’Engle has been respectful of Christian beliefs throughout the series.  But of course she has her own fantastic spin.  The twins are involved in a conflict between the Seraphim (good angels) and the Nephalim (fallen angels).  There are also unicorns, mammoths, minotaurs and other fantastical beasts.

As the book started, I was a bit concerned with how the twins were being portrayed.  They seemed different from how I perceived them from the other books. But as the book processed it fell more into the way I thought the twins would act.  Even though this is the first time I have read this book, I think this now my second favorite of the series.

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