With A Wrinkle in Time hitting theaters this week, it’s time to reacquaint myself with this classic and try not to feel too judged by Amazon for reading a book they recommend for 10-14 year olds.
For those of you like me needing a refresher, A Wrinkle in Time is about a family who has lost their father to time and space. But with the help of three (not quite) witches/guardian angels/ethereal beings/who knows what really, Meg and her youngest brother, Charles Wallace, set out on a quest to find him.
Oh, and Calvin was there too.
Calvin is a random boy that Meg and Charles Wallace meet on the day of their departure, deciding to come along on this dangerous rescue mission with the sole purpose of being a crutch for Meg, stunting the character growth she would gain from relying on and trusting in herself. Otherwise he’s pretty much pointless, and I have to wonder if this story would have been better without him. For one thing, it would’ve allowed Meg to sink even further into her fear of being alone in who she is, mundane and inconsequential in a sea of special people.
People like her four or five year old little brother, Charles Wallace, who balances out Meg’s ball of pure emotion as this genius verging on telepathic omnipotence. Honestly his maturity made me a little uncomfortable and I couldn’t help but feel like I would be more accepting of his calm intellect had he been Meg’s cat who had suddenly learned to vocalize as humans do thanks to the appearance of the Three W’s, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. This world just feels so magically whimsical upon their arrival, and any moment in the book without them is a sad moment for me. But I get why they can’t be the focal point considering they steal every scene they’re a part of. This is a story about Meg coming into her own within the family she loves and the world she doesn’t quite feel comfortable in.
Meg is definitely the easiest character to relate to as she is overwhelmed by this journey and how ill prepared she feels to make a difference on her own. Especially when we reach the land of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I’m assuming Madeleine L’Engle was speaking more to the general importance of accepting your individuality than the Red Scare with this planet, and it’s a great location for the story she’s telling. As well as a great place for Meg to evolve once she manages to control her fear. Or, rather, accept it and not let it control her. Let’s just say Meg speaks with a lot of exclamation points. Like, A LOT. And as much as I was hoping she would develop some remarkable Matilda like powers to help build her confidence in herself, I’m glad L’Engle didn’t go this route.
The culmination for the story L’Engle does write is the obvious way to go when considering the variables, but that doesn’t make it feel any less important to her characters and to us readers because it’s a great message to hear and/or be reminded of, no matter your age. So take that, Amazon age recommendations. A Wrinkle in Time is for everyone.
Are there any book adaptations coming to the big screen that you can’t wait to see or think I should read first? Feel free to share them with me in the comments or on twitter @BewareOfTrees.