Book Review: The Time Quintet by Madeleine L’Engle…

This set of 5 books is a young adult classic, written in 1959 – 1960. i read the whole series over a year, because i’m the weirdo who doesn’t like to read the same author consecutively. i enjoyed every single book. i can not believe that these books were written almost 50 years ago. They feel very contemporary and are about themes which are close to my heart; themes such as love, loss, friendship, loneliness and the ever-classic triumph of good over evil.

The Murray family is at the center of all the books. Charles Wallace, Meg, Sandy and Denny are the children of 2 brilliant scientists, Alex and Kate Murray. Their adventures bring various facets of science, science fiction, faith and magic together. Reading these books have challenged me indeed; i have no head for anything beyond basic science. But i have learnt some interesting things through these stories.

In the first book, A Wrinkle in Time, we are introduced to the characters and we find out that their father is lost/missing. Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who and Mrs Which, who are sort of guardian angels, help Charles and Meg through a wrinkle in time to an evil planet to bring their father home.

In the second book, A Wind in the Door, Charles Wallace falls gravely ill and Meg, along with a cherubim-like dragon and her new friend Calvin, must save him. They travel deep into Charles Wallace’ body in an effort to defeat creatures of hate and restore harmony to the song of the universe.

In the third book, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, the world is threatened by Mad Dog Branzillo, the dictator of the fictional South American country, Vespugia. Charles Wallace has been charged by Meg’s husband, Calvin’s mother, Mrs O’Keefe with saving the world from nuclear war. With the help of a flying unicorn, Charles Wallace travels back in time to change the past to save the future.

In the fourth book, Many Waters, the twins, Sandy and Denny fiddled with their father’s computer and got sent back into Noah’s time, where they appear to be giants to the people there because humans are small in those times. They help Noah to reconcile to his father and help build the ark. They also get involve in the struggle between the seraphim and the nephilim, angel-magic-like creatures who can change between human and animal forms.

In the fifth book, An Acceptance Time, we move ahead to the next generation. Polly O’Keefe, daughter of Calvin and Meg O’Keefe and grand-daughter of Alex and Kate Murray, has moved in with her grandparents, for a time, to study with them. While walking near her grandparents’ home, she walks through a time gate and is transported 3000 years into the past. She is caught in a struggle between the People of the Wind and the People Across the Lake. Both peoples believe she is a goddess but one of them believes in human sacrifices to bring rain to their drought-stricken land. Polly needs to help reconcile these 2 groups and get back to her own time.

As you can see, these books have so much in them, i could go on but i will let you discover the rest for yourselves. i highly recommend these books to teens who are just coming into their own and have an interest in science and faith. As an adult reading them, i find there is many layers to the story and really love that aspect.

Have you read M. L’Engel’s the other books in this Murray-O’Keefe line? There are four more books which involve Calvin’s and Meg’s children. And another series called the Austin Family series. There are characters from both series which cross over, sort of linking all these stories together.

If you have read this series or her other books, do let me know what you think of them.


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