It’s always fun to pull books from my archives, especially ones that were so formative to my taste in literature, and have stayed with me ever since.
This week, I’d like to discuss the classic children’s series A Wrinkle In Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. It tells the story of Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace, and her new friend Calvin, as they are tasked with rescuing Meg and Charles Wallace’s father from the clutches of evil – no joke. Dr Murry is a physicist who had been working on tesseracts and their use in travel. One day about a year before the beginning of the book, he disappears without a trace. The three kids proceed, accompanied by the odd ladies Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which, on a mind-boggling adventure across the universe.
The great thing about a series like this, is that even though the plot is generally so fantastical, the reader can’t help but follow along for the ride because the author makes the characters so real. Meg, for all she discovers about herself over the course of the first book, starts out basically as a delinquent – she’s not a particularly good student, and often picks fights to make up for it. Calvin, on the other hand, is the third oldest of eleven children, is relatively smart and athletic, but otherwise considered the odd one out of his family. He takes comfort in spending time with the Murrys as a change of atmosphere. Charles Wallace is the unusual one – completely aware of himself from a very young age, he didn’t start talking until he was four, and then it was in full and complete sentences with complex vocabulary! The only two average characters in the series are Meg and Charles Wallace’s twin brothers, Sandy and Dennys, who are featured in a later book titled Many Waters.
If there was ever a series of books I read growing up, that I’d like to see portrayed on screen, I think this would be it. What I didn’t realize before sitting down to write, of course, was that it was done in Canada, back in 2003. As such, I am unaware of how well the stories were conveyed, but I do still think it would be interesting to see given the full treatment.
This was probably the first series of books to help me bridge the gap from just reading fiction, to igniting my interest in science, science fiction, and fantasy. I’m due for a re-read, and I recommend it to you as well, whether it’s your first or third time looking at it.
Rating: 5th Gear
[If you have a topic you’d like me to cover in a future article, please don’t hesitate to email me at Sara at otdt.net.]