A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L'Engle
A Wrinkle in Time was one of my favorite books as a child. Growing up, I read it and its sequels over and over, but it must be at least 20 years since I last read this oh so formative novel. It was librarian Nancy Pearl mentioning this classic on NPR recently that made me want to rush out and re-read the book--which is exactly what I did.
Re-reading A Wrinkle in Time--more than 30 years after I first read it--I had several surprises. First, a lot of what I remembered was actually from the sequel, A Wind at the Door. I didn't remember this story well at all, but it sort of came back as I read. And second, I didn't love it the way I did when I was a girl. Don't get me wrong, I liked it a lot. But as a child I loved these books. I can still see why, but it's a different experience and I'm reading with different eyes.
The story concerns the Murray family. Mr. and Mrs. Murray are both scientists, but Mr. Murray has had to leave his family because of his work for the government. The family hasn't heard from him in over a year. That is the situation as the novel opens on the proverbial "dark and stormy night." The eldest Murray child, Meg, winds up in the kitchen that night with her mother and Charles Wallace, her youngest brother. They are indulging in a comforting mug of late-night cocoa when an unexpected visitor shows up.
Mrs. Whatsit is the first of a series of bizarre characters with bizarre names. Before she leaves the Murrays' that night, she provides a clue that she just might know where Mr. Murray is. The following day, Meg and Charles Wallace plan to seek out Mrs. Whatsit and demand further information. Along the way, they meet Meg's schoolmate Calvin O'Keefe who seems to be somehow destined to join them. So begins a great, weird, adventure through time and space.
I will always have great affection for L'Engle's novels. Even though this one no longer has quite the same effect on me, I'm sorely tempted to continue re-reading the series and L'Engle's other works. These are some of my oldest friends, and it's been far too long since my last visit.