SUGGESTIONS FOR WEEKEND READING
Review: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
“Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.” — A Wrinkle in Time
When Madeline L’Engle first sought to publish A Wrinkle in Time, her manuscript was rejected from numerous publishers before she found one that would undertake her unconventional literary offspring. Like many of the books that today are considered favorites or classics, such as Jane Eyre, Gone with the Wind and Harry Potter just to name a few, it was simply too unorthodox for it to have an easy birth into the literary world.
As Meg Rosoff writes in the introduction to this hot-off-the-press edition by the Folio Society, “With hindsight, it’s easy to marvel at the foolishness of those who failed to spot the value of a book that would go on to enchant five generations of readers, that would stay in print for half a century and sell ten million copies. But it is also possible to feel sympathy for the editor who felt that children in their early teens were not ready for tesseracts.” Indeed, this book is one that does not fit well into any preconceived genres; one part being that it incorporates quantum physics in with its fantasy; another that it has frequent allusions to Shakespeare.
The story reminds me in many ways of C. S. Lewis’s sci-fi trilogy in that it is a beautiful blend of science-fiction and fantasy. Indeed, I imagine that his series was an influence in her creating this adventurous tale as she uses some similar concepts of the cosmic struggle of supreme good against utter evil throughout the universe, and points to one Lord and Creator that rules over all.
Meg Murray is an unconventional heroine. She is misunderstood at school, and her stubborn streak lands her in perpetual trouble. She feels awkward in her braces, unattractive in her mousy brown hair and feels like she can never get anything right. But her younger brother, a very unusual child-prodigy, seems to understand her in a way that is uncanny. Suddenly out of the blue, they are whisked away to engage in a fight against evil on another planet where their missing father is being held captive.
I first read this engaging novel at some point in middle school and remember being struck at its ingenuity and originality in comparison with the other fantasy books I was reading. Rereading it now as an adult, I was blown away at how it rang true as just such a good book—a very simple yet very difficult achievement for a writer to create, where the reader is left with the full satisfaction and pleasure of having just completed a truly good book.
This particular edition was further enhanced by the stunning illustrations by Sam Richwood. For a chance to win a FREE COPY, please visit our Facebook page and comment on what your favorite book was as a child, or what book you are most looking forward to reading this summer. We will announce the winner next Friday, June 19th.
Happy summer reading!