A Wrinkle in Time

by Madeleine L'Engle
Series: Time Quintet 1
Reviewed date: 2018 May 31
202 pages
cover art
cover art

I hadn't read A Wrinkle in Time since I was, oh, probably no more than eleven. It turns out I remembered basically nothing. Nothing except the tesseract, and the illustration of the ant on a line, and that there was a little boy and his older sister. And an evil power. And...well, that's not much, is it?

Most of what I remember must be from one of the sequels, because I remember quite vividly something about mitochondria not working because the little farandolae were shirking their duty and running in circles around a tree. That's not in this book.

Anyway. Meg is an awkward girl with a precocious little brother, Charles Wallace. At school she meets Calvin, a slightly older awkward boy. Charles Wallace introduces them to three strange little women--Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Who--who are either witches or angels. They all tesser off to another planet where the three Mrs. explain that Meg's father is trapped by a powerful evil Black Thing. You know, the Black Thing whose shadow has fallen upon Earth, and that's why there are wars and crime and evil.

The three witches send Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace to the planet Camazotz, where they find that the entire planet is populated by people whose minds are enslaved by an alien entity called IT. They track down IT, and IT turns out to be a giant brain. Meg rescues Father from IT, and Father tessers everyone away to safety. Everyone except Charles Wallace. He is now firmly under the spell of IT.

Father's inexperienced tessering has exposed Meg to the Black Thing, and she is badly hurt. Aunt Beast nurses Meg back to health. Then the three witches show up and explain that Meg must go back to Camazotz alone, to rescue Charles Wallace.

She does. And she defeats IT with love. It's pretty silly. I know it's a beloved classic, but it's a disappointing resolution.

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