I first read A Wrinkle in Time a few years ago. Obviously as an adult. I didn't find it as a child, which is a shame I think. The first time I read it, I really didn't understand it all that well, and so didn't like it all that much. This time through was a different story.
It has a great hook in the first chapter. Right from the first line cliche-
It was a dark and stormy night.
we are drawn into the story. Meg Murry lives with her mother and three brothers. Her father is absent, a source of much gossip in town. Meg has mouse-brown hair, braces and glasses, she is bright but slipping classes in school because of the family turmoil. On this dark and stormy night, Meg has trouble sleeping, her younger brother Charles Wallace is busy in the kitchen making hot chocolate and tuna fish sandwiches- (if only todays 4 year olds were so capable!), when the mysterious and vaguely scary Mrs Whatsit comes to visit.
What follows is a rather amazing scifi journey. A search for her father with a lot of ponderings about the bigger questions along the way. There's a strong religious vibe to the story. Classic good versus evil doing battle. Shadows falling over good lands that sort of thing. I did wonder if I was imagining it at first, but I wasn't- Madeleine L'Engle had strong Christian beliefs. It's quite interesting. A Wrinkle in Time was both attacked for being too religious by some, but has made the banned books list in the US for some time. It seems that religious conservatives feel it "gives an inaccurate portrayal of God and nurturing in the young an unholy belief in myth and fantasy." Damned if you do and damned if you don't it seems.
While I was reading this book I dined alone in an upmarket restaurant one night. My waitress immediately gushed over the story- her mother had read it to her when she was a young girl, and she had read it many times since. She'd lost her copy, and just the week before had been thinking of buying a new one. I hope our chance meeting prompted her to get her new copy and reacquaint herself with this classic story.
Read as part of my ongoing quest to read 1001 Childrens Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up.