How could a science fiction book from the 1960s remain a best seller for years? Well, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time has. This novel is great for everyone. You may discover its hidden themes, or question how it relates to the world at that time.
Meg, the main character, is much like young L’Engle. She struggles in school but is untraditionally smart, as L’Engle states in the book. “‘Meg and her father used to play with numbers and Meg learned far too many shortcuts. So, when they want to them the long way around she gets all sullen and stubborn and sets up a fine mental block for herself.”
Like Meg, young L’Engle struggled in school. L’Engle was often able to figure out her homework but not how her teachers wanted her to. L’Engle’s methods and problem-solving skills where untraditional and not always appreciated. Born in NYC, L’Engle went to private and boarding schools most of her life. L’Engle’s love for writing began at a young age. She wrote her first story at five and began a journal when she was eight.
A Wrinkle in Time is about Meg Murry and her brother Charles Wallace. When Meg and Charles meet Calvin O’Keefe in the woods behind their house things get interesting. After a strange run-in with Charles’s new friends, Ms. What’s It, Ms. Who, and Ms. Which the three children are whisked away on a crazy adventure to save their father. On their journey, they discover the mysterious city of Camozots, where everyone is overcome by the evil powers of the IT. All the residents seem to be brain washed and the whole city is pulsing with and intense rhythm. “with an immense effort, she tried to breath against the rhythm of the IT.” The group must fight the powers of IT to stay safe and return home.
Meg has struggled in school ever since her father disappeared but her younger brother, Charles Wallace, seems to always know how to comfort her. Charles is a peculiar young boy that always seems to know what Meg and Mrs. Murry. “I knew you’d be down. I’ve put some milk on the stove for you. It ought to be hot by now.” Throughout the book Charles often speaks in this way of knowing.
The two siblings meet Calvin O’Keeffe in the woods behind their house. He is strangely like Charles in his way of knowing. Although Calvin is a star athlete in school but never enjoyed the popularity.
The three children meet three old women, Ms. What’s It, Ms. Who, and Ms. Which. These women introduce the children into the idea of the Tesseract and whisk them away on a crazy adventure to save Mr. Murry. On their adventure the children meet the IT. The IT is a master mind that controls the city of Camazots. The IT uses powerful mind and tries to force the children to stay in Camazots forever. “And suddenly she knew. Love! That’s what she had that IT didn’t have”
In A Wrinkle in Time, L’Engle creates a story with many plot twists that pulls you in and keeps you on your toes. Her characters can relate to many people and there is never a dull moment in the story. Many people enjoy the mystery and the suspense to see what happens next. A Wrinkle in Time is a great book for younger kids but it s also a good book for adults who may see a deeper meaning. In the end, this book is a true page turner.