A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’engle

‘It was a dark and stormy night.
In her attic bedroom Margret Murray, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind.’

a wrinkle in timeWhen Charles Wallace Murry goes searching through a ‘wrinkle in time’ for his lost father, he finds himself on an evil planet where all life is enslaved by a huge pulsating brain known as ‘It’. How Charles, his sister Meg and friend Calvin find and free his father makes this a very special and exciting mixture of fantasy and science fiction, which all the way through is dominated by the funny and mysterious trio of guardian angels known as Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who and Mrs Which.

 

What I thought:

I’m torn over this book. This series completely passed me over as a kid and hadn’t heard much about so I was interested to finally read it. I found the characters quite 2D especially Charles Wallace (what kind of name is that for a kid? I get that it’s supposed to show he’s different from everyone and not childlike but still…) his entire character is about him seeing smart and seeing the world differently. But to me he didn’t come across as anything more than that, I found him an annoying kid who needed to be taken down a peg or two. Yes he’s book smart but he really isn’t anything more than that. Meg is a great female role model, she’s a scientist and solves problems in her adventure by using her brain. She’s puts her family above everything and makes bringing her father back is the focus of everything that happens in the book. This should make her an interesting character and make her someone that I found myself attached to, and yet there was something about her that I just didn’t click with. I found her unable to adapt to her situation and was constantly doubting what was in front of her – as a scientist ignoring the primary data that she is seeing with her own eyes is something that she shouldn’t do.
The only character I found actually likable is Calvin, his ‘thing’ was about being empathetic and able to connect with people. But even then I found him a bit separate from the world.

I’d love to say that the reason I didn’t enjoy this book was because I’m outside of the target audience, expect that’s not fair. Because YA sci-fi with a female protagonist. That should be my thing, it ticks all the boxes but it’s probably a bit too young for me. Even then though if it’s a good enough book it shouldn’t matter that it’s not aimed at me. I saw pretty much everything coming which meant that the plot didn’t have me gripped and I’ve already said that I didn’t connect with the characters.

However I can see why so many people love it and why it’s so popular. I think if I’d found this book as kid I still wouldn’t have liked Charles Wallace (but I’m not convinced he’s supposed to be liked as he’s so different) but I would have been much fonder of Meg and Calvin. I think I would have cared more about their struggles more and would want to read the next book in the series.
Travelling around space is awesome and I like the way it introduces different scientific theories such as worm holes. It’s done in a way that you can understand them well enough for the purpose of the story but know where to go looking if you want to find out more.

Why I read this:

I wanted to read it before I saw the film. Coming out of the film I was glad I’d seen it but that was was mostly because of what the film represented with a mixed race female lead. But as a film it didn’t grab my attention and it missed the bits of mystery that were in the book.

Final thoughts:

I wanted to enjoy this as I know so many people love it, but I can’t help thinking they love it because they found it as a kid and it meant a lot to them then.  Maybe I’ve finally come to the point where I’m too old for these kind of books but for me if the book is good enough it shouldn’t matter that it’s a kid’s book.  Not a book for me but I’m glad I’ve read it.

Would I recommend: Unsure. I wouldn’t offer it to people my age but for young girls interested in getting into science fiction I think this is a good start.

Challenges:

Popsugar: Author with a different ethnicity to you, about time travel, set on a different planet, characters who are twins (ok so they are minor characters and only mentioned at the beginning of the book but they exist), childhood classic you’ve never read, 

Read Harder: First book in a YA series, sci-fi female protagonist and female author.

 

I really am annoyed that I didn’t click with this book but I’d love to hear from you guys about it. What did you think about the film? And if you read this book as a kid please let me know what I’m missing. Like I said I feel like I should have enjoyed this book but just didn’t click with any of the characters at all.

I’ll be back in a couple of days with another book. I’m determined not to let this slip again.

Rea

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