A Wrinkle in Time starts off with quite possibly the most cliched opening sentence ever ("It was a dark and stormy night") but thankfully everything that comes after that is terrific. I loved this book. A Wrinkle in Time is one of the most beloved children's books of all time and I really feel that I missed out by not reading it as a child. It's suspenseful, imaginative, atmospheric, beautifully-written, touching and full of adventure. The characters are likeable and engaging. The three Mrs W's are kind, eccentric, and utterly mysterious. Charles Wallace is a child genius who is nowhere near as annoying as he had the potential to be. Meg is clever, strong, caring, brave and a loving sister. Calvin is a good-looking, popular jock who - very refreshingly! - isn't stupid and doesn't start the story off as a complete ass. He's also discerning and fiercely loyal.
A Wrinkle in Time is simple and yet deeply profound as all of the best children's books are. It promotes individuality, intellectual curiosity, bravery, love and goodness. It lets children know that their parents aren't perfect and will make mistakes. It shows that, in the right situations, your flaws can sometimes be your strengths. The book also carries a very strong Christian message - I'd put it on the same level as C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia. Jesus's name is mentioned and it contains some scripture and Christian symbolism. As a matter of fact, A Wrinkle of Time frequently finds its way onto banned and challenged book lists. Some readers object to the book because they think it's too Christian whereas other readers believe that it's not Christian enough. There are certain Christians who object to a section where Jesus's name is mentioned alongside historical individuals, including Gandhi and Buddha, who have all fought for good. Well, I loved this section and it was actually one of my favourite parts of the book! God loves everyone and His grace and truth can be found in all people and cultures! A Wrinkle in Time has so many beautiful and positive messages that the fact that it's a frequently challenged book is downright tragic :(
Before I wrap up this review, I feel like mentioning that Disney produced a made-for-TV movie adaptation of this book that came out almost 10 years ago. I've not seen this movie myself but the trailer looks terrible, I've read terrible reviews for it, and Madeleine L'Engle herself hated it. A Wrinkle in Time could make for a wonderful movie in the right hands though. Someone should give JJ Abrams a call once he's wrapped up the new Star Wars trilogy :)
P.S. Here's a bonus reason to read A Wrinkle in Time: Sawyer read it on Lost :)
P.P.S. Also, Whovians should definitely check this book out! As a friend of mine pointed out, this book is a brilliant blend of sci-fi and fantasy and is full of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey ness :)