Friday, February 09, 2018

Book Review: 'A Wrinkle In Time' by Madeleine L'Engle

In anticipation of the new movie from Disney, and the fact that I've not read it before, it was time to delve into 'A Wrinkle In Time' by Madeleine L'Engle.

From the start I was drawn into the story of Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace and her friend Calvin O'Keefe, meeting the mysterious three Mrs W's - Whatsit, Who and Which, and their adventures in the fifth dimension in search of Meg and Charles Wallace's missing father.

I enjoyed the story. It's one that mixes in a large helping of both science and spirituality, and a sprinkle of theology too. Things that you wouldn't normally perhaps find in a children's book. And there are some engaging and believable characters (at least early on) as well.

I liked the main character of Meg in the early part of the story. She came across as someone who was smart and who stood up for herself and the ones she loved, but she was also flawed with her very relatable issues. I was looking forward to reading her adventures, but from the moment she travelled into a different dimension with her companions, it seemed to change her. She became a bit hysterical (I guess travelling to the fifth dimension will do that to a person!), shouting, screaming and becoming angry, blaming others for not being able to fix the situations they all faced, despite the impossible odds. That made it difficult to be sympathetic towards a character that had started off so likeable only become so self centred, selfish and angry.

Charles Wallace, Meg's hyper smart baby brother, was a very intriguing and interesting character too. I enjoyed the sibling banter between him and his sister Meg at the beginning, getting the feeling that they loved each other very much. But, once they cross over into the other dimension, one of the most interesting characters in the book just disappears from the story.

I know I'm not the target audience, the book did win the Newbery Medal for children's literature in 1963 after all, but I did enjoy the story for the most part. One that starts off well, and introduces the main characters of the story in a way that makes you like them straight away, but it is let down by the change of pace about halfway through, with the plot kind of meandering, losing its way a bit and skipping over details, and also feeling a bit of a rush towards the conclusion in the final act as Meg confronts the evil on the planet Camazotz.

Overall though, its still an enjoyable read, with just a few too many nitpicks for me to consider it the classic it's held up to be. I'd still recommend it for younger readers though.