A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle is a middle-grade novel with a blend of science fiction and fantasy. It was published in early 1962 after being rejected in previous years.
The story follows a girl named Meg as she tries to find her father. Meg’s little brother, Charles Wallace, and her new friend Calvin O’Keefe accompany her on her adventure as she follows three old women: Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. The story provides interesting concepts such as tessering—to move from one place to another in a very short amount of time—and the ability to make walls disappear by rearranging the atoms. A tangible form of darkness also adds to the intrigue and suspense.
Meg is seen as an oddball at her school. Her father is missing and word is going around that he left Meg’s mother to run off with another woman. Meg doesn’t believe it. She believes he will come back. Then, Meg’s little brother, Charles Wallace, introduces Meg and their mother to Mrs. Whatsit when Mrs. Whatsit stops by their house in the middle of night. Mrs. Whatsit mentions something called a tesseract. This upsets their mother, but intrigues Meg. The next day, Charles leads Meg to the house where Mrs. Whatsit lives with her two friends, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which. On the way, they run into Calvin O’Keefe, a popular boy from school, and he joins them. Later that night, Meg, Charles, and Calvin are thrust into an adventure across the universe by Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. They go to distant planets to find Meg and Charles’s father, who will be lost to a tangible form of evil called IT if they don’t succeed.
A Wrinkle in Time is a beautifully crafted book. The story is imaginative and unique with elements based on theoretical science concepts. The way evil is shown reflects what events occurred during the time the book was written and published. I recommend this book to anyone that is fascinated with the thought of alternate universes and fantasy.
A Wrinkle in Time is available on Amazon.
About A Wrinkle in Time
This is Book 1 of the Time Quintet Series
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.
“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”
A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.
A Wrinkle in Time is the winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal.
About Madeleine L’Engle
Madeleine L’Engle (1918-2007) was the Newbery Medal-winning author of more than 60 books, including the much-loved A Wrinkle in Time. Born in 1918, L’Engle grew up in New York City, Switzerland, South Carolina and Massachusetts. Her father was a reporter and her mother had studied to be a pianist, and their house was always full of musicians and theater people. L’Engle graduated cum laude from Smith College, then returned to New York to work in the theater. While touring with a play, she wrote her first book, The Small Rain, originally published in 1945. She met her future husband, Hugh Franklin, when they both appeared in The Cherry Orchard. Upon becoming Mrs. Franklin, L’Engle gave up the stage in favor of the typewriter. In the years her three children were growing up, she wrote four more novels. Hugh Franklin temporarily retired from the theater, and the family moved to western Connecticut and for ten years ran a general store. Her book Meet the Austins, an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book of 1960, was based on this experience. Her science fantasy classic A Wrinkle in Time was awarded the 1963 Newbery Medal. Two companion novels, A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet (a Newbery Honor book), complete what has come to be known as The Time Trilogy, a series that continues to grow in popularity with a new generation of readers. Her 1980 book A Ring of Endless Light won the Newbery Honor. L’Engle passed away in 2007 in Litchfield, Connecticut.