NOV / DEC 2017: BY CAROL STARKEY
I’ve loved science fiction for as long as I can remember. From Flight of the Navigator to E. T. to Aliens, to the countless novels and short-story collections, to TV shows like Star Trek and Quantum Leap, sci-fi has surrounded me pretty much since birth.
I wish I could say I first read A Wrinkle in Time when I was a kid and grew up loving it, but I didn’t read it until I was pregnant with my first child. I had a teacher with an entire bookcase filled with children’s books for his future child, and he would lend them to me to read to my baby while I was still pregnant. That’s when I first fell in love with the awkward Meg and her little brother, Charles Wallace. Even as a young adult, I identified with Meg and can only imagine how much more I would have loved this book had I read it as a child.
Sadly, none of my kids enjoy the book. I read it to them a few years ago, and they much prefer the graphic novel based on the book by Madeleine L’Engle, but the book is a favorite for many reasons. The first is it’s a story of love. Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend, Calvin, travel through a tesseract, or a wrinkle in time (almost like a wormhole). They are led by three stranger women, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, who are actually supernatural beings. The children want to rescue Mr. Murry, who’s been missing for a year, and have to stop an evil force, IT.
The story is exciting and scary in some parts, but what shines through is the love. Meg loves her brother and has a special bond with him, but each of the characters loves selflessly. Meg sacrifices herself for her brother and even forgives her father. Another thing I love is that though this isn’t a Christian book, it actually is. L’Engle was a Christian, and it shows through her work. From Bible verses inserted in the story to Jesus being referred to as the Light to the picture of His sacrificial love shown through Meg, it very much is. But like C. S. Lewis in his Chronicles of Narnia, it’s natural. L’Engle never beats the reader over the head with Christianity.
I also liked the character development. Meg begins the book as a self-conscious girl who doesn’t realize her full potential, Charles Wallace realizes being smart isn’t everything, and Calvin, neglected, unloved, grows in his love, and almost saves Charles Wallace himself.
If you’ve never read A Wrinkle in Time, do yourself a favor and get yourself to the nearest library to check it out. Trust me, it won’t disappoint you!