#AWrinkleinTime: What happens when grown ups decide what kids should read…

a-wrinkly-in-time-by-madeleine-lengle

A Wrinkle in Time
By: Madeleine L’Engle
My Rating: TWO out of FIVE stars

Why do adults get to decide what books are childhood classics? Shouldn’t the kids get to choose?

Like many, I first read A Wrinkle in Time as a kid…I was probably 12-ish. I’m sure some well meaning adult gave it to me and told me I’d love it.

All I remember is that it was weird.

Given the upcoming Disney movie and it’s endless and inescapable promotions, my kids are curious. I figured it was time for a re-read with my grown up brain and experiences.

Guess what I found?

It’s still weird.

With a side of preaching.

BTW…is it just me, or does the idea that IT may have taken over Disney at some point seem plausible?

Anyway, Wrinkle isn’t all bad. I see why there are fans. It was way ahead of it’s time with a young and strong female hero. Meg is smart, good at math and science, self aware, independent, and kind…in a book written just barely this side of the 50’s. That’s pretty cool.

I also enjoyed the strong family ties and love between parents and siblings. I can definitely get behind that.

Plus the first sentence is literally “It was a dark and stormy night.”  How’s that for vintage?

What made me raise my brows and roll my eyes was the strange story. Strange things happen, weird explanations are given, random solutions save the day, and in the end all you need is love.

All together now.

I also didn’t enjoy the odd–and very abstract–references to Christianity. Coming from a Christian, that may be surprising. I’m certain it’s all well intentioned, and perhaps to others who are much smarter and less dense than me it all makes perfect sense. But their inclusion in Wrinkle is so random and abstract they lost all meaning, almost like the use of the Lords name here is…in vain?

One thing I know for sure: no kids I know are going to enjoy reading A Wrinkle in Time.

Happy reading!

7 comments

  1. I totally understand where you’re coming from with the abstract Christianity making you uncomfortable. I think that L’Engle has a tendency to treat the Bible and Christianity as just another source of beautiful semi-myths to be woven into her fantasy stories (I’m pretty sure that she explicitly places Jesus on the same level as other “good men” in history at one point in “Wrinkle in Time”). This treating Scripture as primarily a source of literary allusion can come across as disrespectful to those of us who regard it as so much more. I’m not sure where L’Engle stands theologically, but I’m pretty sure it’s far outside orthodox/traditional Christianity of any stripe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I finished listening to this book this morning and found it to be very weird. I don’t read much Sci-Fi as it is but this one felt a bit all over the place. I did enjoy it for all the same reasons you mentioned above such as strong female lead, loving family ties, and the fact that Love can conquer all. I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed it as a kid myself but I think it’ll make for a great and colorful movie. It was definitely dated in the dialogue which made me like it more than if I just looked at plot line. I’m not a very religious person so my mind must have skipped over a lot of that but after reading this I can see it. I’ll be seeing the movie for the colors and casting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Weird. Yep, 100% weird.

    I gave up on Lengle after reading “Many Waters” which was a rather blasphemous take on Noah’s days recorded in Genesis.

    And I concur with most of what Joel said too. I think Lengle would fall more into Unitarian Universalist type of Christianity than say, Fundamental Baptist. And I’ll get off this train before I ride it right to the end 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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