Book Review: A Wrinkle In Time

A Wrinkle In Time is a Science Fiction/Fantasy novel for young teens. One of the first of it's kind to feature a female protagonist, it is a classic and marks the beginning of a new era for Sci-Fi.
A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle
A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle tells the story of a teenage girl, her little brother, and their friend traveling the galaxy to save the world. It's a grand adventure that culminates in a battle between good and evil.

Back in grade school, I had a friend who loved the book, and despite the fact that we were both avid readers, I never took her love for the book as motivation to read it. When I saw the trailer for the movie, I knew it was now or never. I'm one of those people who prefers to read the book first (and typically I enjoy the book more). So, I rummaged through the bookstore until I found a copy and began to read...

After completing the novel, I found myself with mixed feelings—did I like it, did I not? I'm not sure I can fully answer whether I enjoyed the book or not. One thing that's important to remember is that it was written for young teens (~11-15 years old).[1] At 29, I'm not exactly the book's target audience. Although, I have read books from my youth as an adult and still been drawn in to the pages, I believe this one is better for it's intended age range.

Let's start with what I do like about the book. The overall concept is pretty cool—there's a touch of mystery, a touch of science, and a touch of fantasy. My imagination definitely ran wild as I drifted into the world Ms. L'Engle crafted. Further, the overall message of embracing different styles of learning is definitely one of importance. The novel reminds us if people behave differently or fail standardized tests, it doesn't mean they aren't smart or capable; it just makes them unique.

While the concept and the overall message were solid, the execution was questionable (at least, in the eyes of an adult). The novel was extremely predictable and the climax was pretty anti-climactic. Assuming the movie closely follows the book, I'm not surprised it has a low score from Rotten Tomatoes.[2] On top of a predictable storyline, the book adds an overly precocious child as one of the main characters. By making the child so articulate and intelligent at such a young age, the hope is that we understand how remarkable and special this child really is. Instead, it seemed gimmicky and much less realistic than traveling to far off planets. I feel as though the plot would have made much more sense if the age of the main character and her younger brother had been flipped.

For the Christian reader, the theology in the book may be off putting as well. Interestingly, it has appeared on the banned books list for both being anti-Christian and too Christian. Although Ms. L'Engle is Christian and weaves Bible verses into the story, there seems to be a bit of blurring between New Age philosophies and Christianity.[3] At one point, the book lowers Jesus to the level of Ghandi and Einstein. Unlike The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe from the Chronicles of Narnia series, A Wrinkle In Time mixes science and religion to the point Christian specific theology is lost. In fact, since Jesus is placed on par with human inventors and activists, the god mentioned by the characters is clearly not representing the God of Abraham whose Son died on the cross for us and whose angels would never steal.

Overall, I have no regrets about failing to read this as a child and I'll probably catch the movie on Netflix.

References

  1. "A Wrinkle In Time: Product Details". Barnes & Noble; visited March 2018
  2. "A Wrinkle In Time". Rotten Tomatoes; visited March 2018
  3. Becky Little. "‘A Wrinkle in Time’s’ Long Religious Controversy". History. March 7, 2018

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Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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