by Madeleine L’Engle
Observations about a Children’s Classic
A Wrinkle in Time is a beloved children’s book about a little girl who goes on a dangerous quest to find her missing scientist-father. It was published in 1963, but I’m a little behind in my reading, so I just now got around to it. Random thoughts:
- There are heavy doses of both religion and science in the plot, yet author Madeleine L’Engle manages to make them peaceably co-exist.
- I kept thinking of the book’s likely literary influences, pre- and post-publication. Before: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. After: the Harry Potter books. J.K. Rowling is the more entertaining, skilled writer, with stronger characters; L’Engle deals more overtly with adult themes.
- I’m guessing that Wrinkle was (is?) more popular with girls than with boys. I mean, any story that ends with the heroine conquering evil by (spoiler alert!) declaring “I love you!” to her baby brother is going to be a tough sell to the mud-and-trucks crowd.
- I believe I’ll pass on the upcoming Hollywood adaptation, mostly because it reportedly features the Queen of Smarm, Oprah Winfrey. (I might change my mind if Winfrey is cast as the dreadful blob of brain, but I’m guessing that’s not the case.)
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