Thursday, July 15, 2010

Throwback Thursday: "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle

So I recently thought, wouldn't it be great if I used a day to review childhood favorites? I recently reread a bunch of books I loved when I was younger for a class, and I wanted to share my renewed love (or newly discovered disappointment). If you have a favorite from childhood that you want to revisit, please feel free to use this! Just link back to me, please.

For this, my first Throwback Thursday, I'm revisiting: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Originally published in 1962 (not sure exactly by who; I've seen Yearling and Dell listed the most, and I've most often seen it as Laurel-Leaf book).

*Starred Review* (duh)

And yes, that's totally the cover from when I was little. It was the first one I ever saw, and will always be the best in my opinion. I don't know why I love it so much; it's incredibly creepy. Mrs. Whatsit looks terrifying, not to mention the Man with the Red Eyes. Floating in an orb. What's that all about?


Here's a brief synopsis for those of you who haven't read it: Meg Murry is an awkward and difficult teenage girl, and Charles Wallace is her precocious, intelligent 5-year-old brother. Along with Calvin O'Keefe, a kid Meg knows from school who gets caught up in the whole affair almost by accident, they go on a remarkable journey through space and universes trying to find and rescue their father, who disappeared the year before. But they soon find out they are battling much more than they originally thought.

I forgot how much I love this book. The entire time I was reading it, I felt like I was at home. Every time the children went to a new planet, met new people, I remembered and went into the safe spot in my head, even when they were in danger. Rereading this book is always a completely different experience from reading anything else. For some reason I get this completely unique feeling that's very hard to explain, but maybe you know what I'm talking about if you have a favorite book that's different from the rest.

I also did NOT remember the Christian messages sprinkled throughout the book. As an adult, I loved it, being a Christian myself, but I honestly don't remember it as being a Christian book. And I don't think L'Engle meant for it to be one, at least not like C.S. Lewis meant for his to be obviously Christian. The references are snuck in here and there, but it's not exclusive. And really, the overall message is about love—love is your greatest gift and protection, and it conquers all.

Some references are a little dated, but that's part of why I love it so much. It's got this completely different tone from stuff published today. I've heard someone suggest updating the language, but this would be a mistake. It would completely change the tone and feel of the language, something I would protect for the rest of my life. And it's not like you would update classic literature from centuries past into modern language.

If you haven't read this yet, you really should. It's completely different from anything else out there. I don't know if those of you who haven't read it would like it as much as those of use who read it as children, but that's up to each reader. I think it's fantastic, and it's gone through nearly 50 years of being in print with 69 printings (!) as a favorite.

What's one of your favorites from when you were little?


  1. I love your blog! Thank you for the reviews and suggestions. I 'liked you' on FB.

    My answer to your question is Anthem, by Ayn Rand. It is a relatively short story I first read in the 5th grade, and it has easily been in my 'top 10 books I couldn't live without' list since. Oddly enough, I haven't read her other novels, and perhaps I should. But Anthem is a novel that I've loved so much, and thought the message was so profound, that I've read it aloud to others.

  2. Great, thank you so much! I've read Anthem, and I liked it a lot. It's funny, because I read The Fountainhead after that, and really didn't like it that much. Anthem was really good though.


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