Book Review: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
With the upcoming A Wrinkle in Time film featuring big names such as Oprah, Chris Pine, and Reese Witherspoon, it got me curious. What's with the book that makes it worth a film adaptation? What makes it a bestseller? More importantly, why should I look forward to the upcoming showing of the film version in theaters?
In this review, I will generally talk about the plot of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle as well as what I think about it.
A Wrinkle in Time tells the story of Meg Murry. She's a youth whose father went missing for about two years. She has a younger brother named Charles who is as socially awkward as her. Although both of them are very intelligent children, they still struggle to fit in at school due to their personal insecurities. Meg, especially, is one who, despite having a high IQ, always gets low grades and fights with other kids.
Right beside their home lives three strange yet kind women – Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit. These ladies introduce the siblings to the existence of tesseract, also known as a “wrinkle” in space and time. With the tesseract, one can travel from one point to another instantaneously. Through the tesseract, Meg and Charles journeys with the three ladies to find their father. They are eventually joined by Calvin.
In their journey, they end up in planet Uriel where they first encounter the Dark Thing. This is a massive black cloud that threatens the universe and is getting closer to Earth. The three ladies then reveal that this is the entity that Meg and Charles' father, Mr. Murray, is fighting. It is also revealed that the Dark Thing has taken Mr. Murray captive.
To help their father in his fight against this dangerous element and free him, the three children visit the Happy Medium to find what path they should take. The Happy Medium points them to planet Camazotz, one of the many planets that have already been overtaken by the Dark Thing. In this planet, they engage in their first battle with the Man With The Red Eyes. The man attempts to hypnotize them into following another entity introduced as IT. Meg and Calvin are able to resist but the same can't be said about Charles. He eventually gives in, and through him they were taken to where Mr. Murray is held captive.
Facing IT, Meg and Calvin are in danger of getting hypnotized as well. Fortunately, they are able to escape through a wrinkle in the nick of time with the help of Mr. Murray.
Of course, being the eldest sister of Charles, Meg can't leave her brother behind. She goes back alone to planet Camazotz in an attempt to retrieve her hypnotized brother. She successfully defeated IT through the power of love - a power that IT doesn't have. The children then tesser back home to Earth where they reunite with their family.
A Reader's Verdict
This novel has all the elements of a good novel. I would rate it high, especially since I like science fiction that actually seems feasible in real life. I mean, there are too many sci-fi theories out there that seems to be too outrageous to be true, you can't wrap your head around them.
The setting was clearly described. As a reader, we are taken on a wild journey as the book described a new world “more beautiful than anything in a dream”.
As for the characters, it is easy to see who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. There's no in between. Who to cheer on and who to hate are very clearcut.
Although it is a bit cliche to know that the best way to defeat the IT is through the power of love, A Wrinkle in Time still stands up to its reputation as a children's book. It tells the moral that siblings should love each other - that they should always have each other's back. Of course, the adventure in the story is enough to fuel a child's imagination.
I can't wait for the film version of the book. Not only is the trailer quite interesting, the plot itself is worth going for. I'll be marking my calendar for the first showing of the film adaptation. How about you?