I think it’s been twenty years or more since I last read this book. I remember this book being an absolutely pivotal one in my childhood, opening wide the doors of fantasy to a little girl who had never seen herself in the hero’s role before. This was still a few years before Hermione Granger would forever change my world, but Meg Murray, Mrs Which, Mrs Who, and Mrs Whatsit (and even Aunt Beast!) were pivotal in my development as a reader.
It was also a lot shorter than I remembered.
For those who don’t know the story, Meg is the oldest of four siblings, her parents both brilliant scientists, her father missing now for years. The family as a whole is seen as more than a little eccentric–the two middle children normal enough, but the father presumed to have run off, the youngest presumed a moron, and Meg herself presumed as more than a little difficult and dense. But not everything is as it seems and Meg, her youngest brother, and a brand new friend are pulled into new worlds with new rules in the struggle to save everything they’ve ever known.
The storytelling is still just as rapt and wonderful as I remembered, the characters with their strengths and their flaws just as fully realized and the worlds just as expansive. I’ve always remembered Mrs Which’s explanation of traveling through wrinkles, that a straight line is not always the shortest distance between two points. I was so happy to plow through the whole thing in a single afternoon, to have that kind of a session where I could immerse myself in the book and get lost with these friends I made so long ago. I remembered the joy of discovering a female protagonist who wasn’t perfect, who wasn’t a princess, and who could save the day not despite but because of her flaws. I was so, so happy to get the chance to come back to it all. I highly recommend this book, both to those like me who knew it as children and to anyone encountering it for the first time.