Usually when I mention that I just read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle to people, the response is something like:
“What do you mean you’ve never read a Wrinkle in Time?”
“Were you living under a rock?”
“What took you so long??”
“Oh my gosh, that was my favorite book growing up!!!!”
Yes the praise is legendary and yes I was very late to the party, especially considering that I am a fan of science fiction / fantasy / young adult / time travel stories. A lot of people consider this book and the following books by L’Engle to be the one that started it all so it was high time I got around to reading it, really.
For those of you who have been under that moss covered rock with me, here’s a quick description of the book from goodreads.com:
Fifty years ago, Madeleine L’Engle introduced the world to A Wrinkle in Time and the wonderful and unforgettable characters Meg and Charles Wallace Murry, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe. When the children learn that Mr. Murry has been captured by the Dark Thing, they time travel to Camazotz, where they must face the leader IT in the ultimate battle between good and evil—a journey that threatens their lives and our universe. A Newbery Award winner, A Wrinkle in Time is an iconic novel that continues to inspire millions of fans around the world.
Of course, yes, I adored it. I immediately found myself rooting for Meg and charmed by her family and fascinated by the story. It has a both timeless and classic feel to it that will appeal to the literary snobs and casual readers alike. It’s also a great vocabulary builder – I found myself looking up all sorts of words either because they were just dated enough to be out of use or because I sensed a literary or cultural reference going over my head. Also because these kids are incredibly smart and advanced well beyond their years and possibly mine.
About halfway through the book, I decided that I’d have to read the next one and that really my husband and kids were going to want to read them as well. I found the whole series in a used book store and splurged but they are all available on Amazon and probably everywhere else. The advantage to being a well loved classic.
Another bonus: The books are short, quick reads – a perfect way to slip in a classic in between book club reads and celeb memoirs.
Because the order of the books wasn’t immediately clear, I looked online to find out what order to read them in. Wikipedia revealed that “L’Engle wrote four other books featuring this generation of the Murry family, collectively known as the Time Quintet.” Although the books don’t necessarily need to be read consecutively, here is a list of the books in order of the internal chronology of the series (though not the order in which they were written):
- A Wind in the Door (1973)
- Many Waters (1986)
- A Swiftly Tilting Planet (1978)
- An Acceptable Time (1989)
And when we’ve finished that, we over achievers can also enjoy four more novels that feature Meg’s children. According to wikipedia, “Nearly every novel by Madeleine L’Engle connects to the Murry-O’Keefe series either directly or indirectly due to appearances by recurring characters. See also: List of L’Engle’s works and Major characters in the works of Madeleine L’Engle for further detail.”