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A Wrinkle In Time

I sort of skipped a book... after I got through the insanity that was The Fountainhead I felt like I needed a recovery. dichroic mentioned Madeleine L'Engle, and I had all these fond memories of of her from my childhood so I went ahead and picked up A Wrinkle In Time to re-read.

It's funny when we revisit things from our childhood. I was probably 10 or 11 when I read A Wrinkle In Time, I think I remember owning the book. I had a shelf of paperbacks that I constantly read and reread like crazy. Roald Dahl, Katherine Patterson, Louis Lowry, Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume. There were a few babysitter's club books but mom discouraged those, she compared them to fast food, except with literature. Mom picked out plenty of wonderful books that I loved so I sort of listened to her on that one.

Anyway, the only thing I remembered about A Wrinkle In Time is that there's a bit where the children get beamed to a two-dimensional world, where everything would just be flat and you could only see lines, and they feel very squished. I really liked that. Sure enough I was right, it's in there, but it's like one page, so it's funny that it stuck with me so much.

It has a lot of Christian themes in it, which surprised me because I don't remember those at all. I guess when I was 10 Christianity was sort of a given, nothing worth noticing, but two-dimensional worlds were amazing.

Interestingly, The Fountainhead and A Wrinkle In Time both portray a sort of hell as a place where we all have to conform and fit into society without questioning authority. That's where the similarities end, though, both authors have very different ideas about how you break out of that sort of hell. There's the objectivist philosophy, where the way to break out is to be a naturally born super genius. The Christian philosophy says you can break out by loving your fellow man, and we don't just say that for syrupy cheesy huggy reasons. It's because love is complicated, and it can't be understood by The Machine so it breaks it down. Think of Ghandi.

Anyway it's a kids' chapter book, it's got big print and simple dialog and the story is timeless and you'll love it. You have to read it, and if it's been 20 years since you read it you have to read it again.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 27th, 2011 12:13 pm (UTC)
Madeleine L'Engle also has some books for adults: The Small Rain, A Severed Wasp, Certain Women, etc. They are among my favorites.
May. 27th, 2011 02:36 pm (UTC)
I agree in some ways, the BSC series was a little on the fluffy side, but now that I'm older, I appreciate a lot of the larger themes. The books did confront a lot of pressing social issues in the lives of adolescent girls that were really beginning to take form during that time.

The one that stands out to me the most is divorce. When I moved to the BV district in 1992, I only knew of two kids in my year about about 60 whose parents were divorced. There were probably more, but those were the only ones I knew of. By the time we reached graduation, there were more than two dozen, my own included. But in retrospect, I look at how the book tackled other social issues, like major disease (I thought I had heard a rumor that the author originally intended the diabetic girl to have AIDS, but for fear of how parents would react, the editor made her change it) and even racism. Plus Kristy was so determined and independent, and I admired that too.

I guess that's my roundabout way of saying even if the BSC is fast food of literature, it's like the Subway fast food version of literature.
May. 30th, 2011 07:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I agree with this. It is definitely a lot more "fluffy" than something like "The Giver" or "A Wrinkle in Time", but I read all of them and they did have their good points. I agree about the divorce (being from a divorced home myself, it was helpful to see it portrayed in literature, pretty uncommon at the time in kids books) and there is a lot there about tolerance and accepting others even though they are different from you. And a lot of teen girl Jr. High problems that made me realize I wasn't the only one going through some stuff. I have fond memories and am kind of sad I gave my collection to a neighbor girl who ended up selling them when she got older.
May. 27th, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC)
I love Madeleine L'Engle books, there are several more in The Wrinkle in Time series which are also great and I highly reccomend them :http://www.amazon.com/Wrinkle-Quintet-Swiftly-Tilting-Acceptable/dp/0312373511/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306507330&sr=8-1
May. 27th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
The only thing I remember about A Wrinkle in Time is that the dog's name is Fortinbras. Truly it had a profound impact on me as a youngster ;)
May. 28th, 2011 12:16 am (UTC)
I reread a Wrinkle in Time a couple months ago! I loved and still love that whole series so much. My favorite part about it by far was the eye/horse/pegasus creature. Close second though was the beautiful relationship all the members of the family had with each other and their cozy home environment. As an only child, I've always been drawn to happy sibling relationships and big, happy families.
May. 28th, 2011 01:44 am (UTC)
I love A Wrinkle in Time! It's my comfort book- the one thing on my shelf that I'll always feel like reading, no matter how grumpy I am.
May. 28th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
My strong memory--and I'm not sure if it's that book or one in the series--is of them being in houses where each house looks exactly alike and at a certain time all the kids MUST play and they can only bounce a ball an exact way or jump rope an exact way and when they break that pattern they are sent into the main building and retrained with shock therapy not to deviate. I don't even remember the larger plot, but I remember that.

I ADORED the BSC books. But I also picked them up in 2nd grade. By the time I was in junior high, I was way long since over them and eyeball deep in my dad's sci-fi and fantasy collection.
May. 29th, 2011 01:31 am (UTC)
Fewmets. Every time I think of those books, that's what I think of. And I always try to remember to use it as a curse-word, but never do.
May. 30th, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC)
Also one of my favorites from childhood :) I kind of remember re-reading it back in 2003 because I saw it on an ex-boyfriend's bookshelf, but my memory of anything in the book is so hazy that I kind of wonder if I just -wanted- to re-read it but never got around to it. I'll have to read it again soon :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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