I somehow managed to make it 30 years without reading A Wrinkle in Time. I was certain I had read it before, how could I not have, but the story didn’t seem familiar while I was reading. However, it did make me nostalgic to reread Phantom Tollbooth now.
A brief summary (since everyone will be writing about this book in the upcoming two weeks):
Meg Murry, her baby brother Charles Wallace, and their neighbor Calvin are sent on a journey through time and space by three women/ centaur-like immortal beings named Mrs Who, Mrs Whatsit & Mrs Which in order to find the Murry children’s father who got lost while working on a tesseract for the government.
I’ve read a few of our book club books in the last few years but I’ve had pretty spotty attendance with the chats and unfortunately that trend will probably continue. I work on Book Club Friday and on Saturday I will be dragging my faithful husband to Day 1 of the AMC Best Picture Showcase. I’ll do my best but in case I don’t manage to weigh in here are my two cents.
A Wrinkle in Time is banned by some religious groups and has often been challenged in libraries. Why do you think that is? What do people object to? I think this is strange because it is my understanding that L’Engle is a devout Christian and A Wrinkle in Time is more religious allegory, like the Narnia books, and less heresy. Besides your standard Good vs. Evil there are a few religious quotes and The Man with Red Eyes is clearly a demon who works for IT which is the Devil.
“Are you fighting the Black Thing?” Meg asked. “Oh, yes,” Aunt Beast replied. “In doing that, we can never relax. We are called according to His purpose, and whom He calls, them He also justifies. Of course we have help, and without help it would be much more difficult.”
Oozing in religious undertones.
I suppose because there are magical elements certain groups of people automatically get their panties in a twist over before even reading the books they’re protesting. Ironically, since Harry Potter is on a lot of Christian’s shit lists, Meg defeats IT in the same way Harry Potter defeats Voldemort- by knowing and having love with the enemy does not.
There are many different types of beings in the book. Which do you find the most interesting? The most scary? The most loving/lovable? I have a feeling I will love the Mrs. Ws in the movie simply for being Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and OPRAH but in the novel I loved Aunt Beast. Besides saving our heroine she is so empathetic and wise with some great lines.
“We do not know what things look like.
We know what things are like. It must be a very limiting thing, this seeing. -Aunt Beast”
I don’t know if any character “scared” me since I’m an adult but I think the whole concept of IT taking over your brain and using you as ITs mouth piece would be a bit terrifying for a child.
Talking specifically about the movie adaptation now- why is Zack Galifinakis the Happy Medium? I mean he drives me bonkers anyway but now that I’ve read the book and know that the Happy Medium was written as a woman I will forever be disappointed the role will not be played by Tilda Swinton. Could we only have 4 strong female characters in the female directed blockbuster? Five would have made heads explode?
Lastly, Charles Wallace is probably on a spectrum, right? I’m guessing in the 60s Asperger’s and Autism weren’t common place but, space & time travel notwithstanding, is he on the spectrum or are his quirks just a plot device?
I wish the story was longer and more fleshed out, I realize there are sequels but that’s not quite what I mean, overall the action felt very rushed. I kept feeling like my copy was missing a chapter between Ixchel and getting back to the Murry house! I know this is a Children’s book but I think kids can appreciate more developed characters and with more complex story arcs if the language is simple enough.