Book of the Week

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“It was a dark and stormy night.”

This line has been used over and over again to start just about every campfire story ever told, but never has it lead into a story as deeply philosophical and intensely adventuresome as when Madeleine L’Engle used it at the beginning of her classic, “A Wrinkle in Time.”

“A Wrinkle in Time” is the story of three children: Meg Murry, Charles Wallace Murry, her youngest brother, and Calvin O’Keefe, their newly found friend. The father of Charles and Meg is a world-renowned physicist who has been gone for many years working on a top secret mission for the government. Tensions build in the home and things go worse in school for Meg, but after a very strange encounter one night in the Murry house, the children realize the situation is much direr than they had thought.

Charles and Meg go to see a stranger they had met (to try and clear some things up), a peculiar little old woman who lives in a “haunted house” in the woods with two old friends. There, they meet Calvin, who explains to them that he felt compelled to cometo the house at that moment, perhaps destined to meet them.

From then on, the three of them are thrown into a wild world of space and time travel, alien creatures, and things so evil they are pure blackness. The three old women: Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, take the children on an interplanetary voyage by means of Tesseract. The Tesseract was a scientific theory that Mr. and Mrs. Murry had been researching, which states that, instead of traveling through space to get from one destination to the next, you simply fold space so that the two destinations are on top of each other (an awfully dreadful way to travel for a human).

They travel to distant planets inhabited by strange and beautiful creatures, like winged Greek centaurs and tall gray tentacled beasts, which nurse Meg back to health after a tormenting encounter with IT, a giant brain striving to control all individual minds.

After she had regains all her strength, Meg returns to face IT, who has gained control over her baby brother. She is faced with an immense mental battle, but in the end it is her love; the love of her family, her new friends and mostly her love for Charles, that brings him back and defeats the blackness.

Intertwined with this amazing sci-fi tale is a simple children’s story about love and individuality. This book has an awesome moral to its end, and the way L’Engle expresses the feelings of the three main characters really keeps you in a state of wonder about the world(s) around us. The three friends must learn a lot about themselves and how even their faults can help them overcome the impending doom of monotony.