A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

I finished A Wrinkle in Time a couple of weeks ago, but am just now getting around to writing about it here. I wrote tons in the margins while I read. (I always do this, do you?) I also wrote out some thoughts freehand about what I wanted to say.
I hadn’t read this book since I was twelve. However, the book is close to my heart because it was the first book I ever loved–James and the Giant Peach followed on its heels. This is the book that changed the experience of reading for me into something not just cerebral, but much more–transformational.
I was delighted to find that the book hadn’t lost it’s influence over me. I enjoyed every last sentence, read it slowly over two days.
What I loved and what I love are still pretty much the same. I love the way that science is used in the book to explore imaginative possibilities of our universe, and how simply that science, such as the idea of tesseracts, are described. (The photo of the ants crawling across a piece of folded fabric, for instance.)
I love Meg’s family. So quirky, but intact!
I love that the thing that helps Meg rescue her father is her faults! There is just so much information out there pushing us to focus on removing our faults, to fix our broken selves. I love that L’Engle acknowledges that it’s not black and white like that, that the very things that get us into trouble, can also save us, that we can embrace our faults and spin them to our benefit.
I love the father-daughter theme and how Meg realizes that she can’t depend on her father to swoop in and save her. I love how she realizes that she is quite capable of saving herself–and everyone else too. Go Meg!

Here are some of my favorite passages:

“Lead on, moron, ” Calvin cried gaily. “I’ve never even seen your house, and I have the funniest feeling that for the first time in my life I’m going home.”

“Meg took a batch of forks from the drawer and turned them over and over, looking at them. / ‘I’m all confused again.’ / ‘Oh, so am I,’ Calvin said gaily. / ‘But now at least I know we’re going somewhere.”

“Yes, it was her faults she turned to to save herself now.”

“Yes. It’s a frightening as well as an exciting thing to discover that matter and energy are the same thing, that size is an illusion, and that time is a material substance.”

“It must be a very limited thing, this seeing.”

“Good helps us, the stars help us, perhaps what you coudl call light helps us. Oh, my child, I cannot explain! This is something you just have to know or not know.”

” ‘You mean you’re comparing our lives to a sonnet? A strict form, but freedom within it?’ / ‘Yes.’ Mrs. Whatsit said. ‘You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you.’ ”

 

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