Time Quartet: A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, Many Waters, A Swiftly Tilting Planet - Madeleine L'Engle

I read at least the first three of these back in junior high (I don't remember the fourth as well), but then apart from A Wrinkle in Time I don't think I'd read the whole series since then. They're among Robyn's favorite books, so this year we read through all of them out loud. L'Engle is a Christian author and this series is sometimes lumped in a group with, say, the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis. However, unlike Narnia, the Time Quartet is a little more science-fiction (with fantasy), and set in more modern times. The world created by L'Engle is also not as much of a parallel universe the way Narnia is, but instead an extension of our world. It also feels less allegorical than the Narnia series; the Murrys are a Christian family and their beliefs influence their actions, but there isn't an Aslan figure for them to follow.

A Wrinkle in Time introduces the Murry family and takes three children on a trip across time and space. A Wind in the Door draws a connection between our relationship to our planet and our mitochondria's relationship to us (and so on, both macroscopically and microscopically). Many Waters sends the twins back to Noah's time, with a conflict between seraphim and nephilim. A Swiftly Tilting Planet concludes the series with a sort of time-travel saga, where Charles Wallace experiences the inter-related lives of many people in similar situations.

The first two feel most similar in tone and plot, and the last two are almost separate stories with recurring characters. I like the first two the best, and probably the last one the least. Still, it's a good series overall and I enjoyed reading them again. If you don't own a copy and want to buy some, I'd recommend the relatively recent covers by Peter Sís, one of my favorite children's book illustrators.

Fed to jonathan's brain | December 30, 2006 | Comments (0)


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