Reposting this review because the Kindle version of Wrinkle in Time is on sale for $3.50.
Takeaway: Reading classic children’s books as an adult is an odd experience.
The first time I heard A Wrinkle in Time was from my 3rd grade teacher. I think his name was Mr Bohanna. I know he spent more time reading out loud to us than any other teacher I remember.
I have no idea how much of the book I really understood. I know that I read or re-read many of the books he read to us and he has some responsibility for my love of reading. I must have read A Wrinkle in time again on my own at least a couple more times before the end of high school. But I never attached to A Wrinkle in Time like I did to the third book in the series, A Swiftly Tilting Planet. I probably have read the third book at least a half dozen times and could have given you a pretty close summary even after more than 20 years.
After reading Camillia a little over a week ago, I decided to go back and re-read more Madeleine L’Engle. I found the first three audiobooks of this series at my library. There is a fourth and fifth book to the series now, and I will read those for the first time as I work through the series. I had forgotten how overtly Christian A Wrinkle in Time is. Not many award winning children’s books quote scripture multiple times.
The story seems simpler than I remember. The climax is really only a few minutes long and the resolution, while it is based in profound thought is pretty simple. I only read George Orwell’s 1984 the first time a few years ago. 1984 was written about 13 years before A Wrinkle in Time, but the focus of much of the world was still between freedom and totalitarian governments.
The children in this story save their father, and the world by the use of Love. A very different result (because of the very different authors) than Orwell’s 1984. It is a bit simplistic, but that is the essential story of Christianity, Love saves. (Not that the characters are Christ figures, but that they use the love that has been given to them, to love others.) The three ‘witches’ are sometimes thought to be representative of the Triune God, but that seems to be pushing it a bit to me.
I do think that it is odd that there have been a couple attempts to ban this book. All the attempts I read about were because people did not like the portrayal of good and evil and/or Christianity. I am still a bit mixed on this book. The structure is fairly simple. The clarity of good and evil is straight forward. The concepts are fairly high, so I think that many children will miss a lot of the references. I think it is a good read aloud. (I listened to Madeline L’Engle narrate the book and she did a very good job.) I am going to finish the series and see if I like this more after finishing.
Note: I later read and reviewed a graphic novel version of the story that is quite good.
- A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Madeleine L’Engle
- A Wind in the Door by Madeline L’Engle #2
- A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline L’Engle #3
- Many Waters by Madeline L’Engle #4
- An Acceptable Time by Madeline L’Engle #5
- Camilla by Madeline L’Engle (stand alone novel)
- And Both Were Young by Madeline L’Engle (stand alone novel)
- Meet the Austins by Madeline L’Engle (Austin Series #1)