If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know how much I love Madeleine L’Engle. One of my deepest regrets is that I never made it to one of her many writing conferences at Wheaton College. My love affair with all things “Madeleine” began when I was in about sixth grade. My mother and I were on a quest to read all of the Newberry Award winners, and I came upon Madeleine’s A Wrinkle In Time.
I don’t know if any book, other than the Bible of course, has had such a strong impact on my life as this book did. First of all, I was going through a very ugly stage. I could completely relate to Meg Murray, who had nondescript mousy brown hair, thick glasses and braces. Minus the braces, it could have been a description of me. Not only is her appearance insignificant, but she feels that she is inadequate in every way. She doesn’t do particularly well in school, although she is a math whiz, and she isn’t good at sports or music. She feels completely useless.
Much of that changes during the book. Meg is able to solve a deep problem for her family, to have a popular boy show interest in her and most importantly to she finds value in who she is. The characters in the novel are quaint and lovable, and Madeleine’s search for God comes through in the pages.
As an adult fan of her work, I’ll never forget reading about her struggle to get this book published. It was her first major work for children. She was about to turn forty, and was wondering whether she should give up writing and concentrate on her family. (Sound familiar anyone?) On her birthday, she received a letter from a publisher. It was yet another rejection. She went on a walk to cry and talk to God. “God, why all these rejection slips? You know it’s good; I wrote it for you.” It was only through an acquaintance that she was able to have her Newberry Award winning book published.
Although the book became part of a series, the books each stand on their own.
I will be exploring other Madeleine Books in the next few weeks, do you have a favorite?
27 thoughts on “A Wrinkle In Time Series Pt. 1 – Books That Inspire”
I only just started reading her Time Quintet for the first time in over ten years. So far, I think I actually like A Swiftly Tilting Planet a bit better than Wrinkle for sheer beauty of imagery and writing, although Wrinkle‘s story holds together the best. I’ve only read the first three so far, but eventually I’ll move on to Many Waters and An Acceptable Time. In case you’re interested, I’ve reviewed the first three of the books fairly in-depth.
I am interested! Are the reviews on your blog? Comment back with a link!
Sorry, can’t say I’m familiar with them, though I will go out on the Net tomorrow and check them out.
On a “hometown” angle, I used to drive by Wheaton College quite a bit. I had friends in the more western suburbs, and I often took Roosevelt past the college and out to Fermilab in Batavia. Spent a fair amount of time there, taking a summer course, visiting several times, even got dragged off by a couple computer geek/scientists on a field trip so they could show me a neat game on the same computer they use to analyse particle collisions! (Hey, we geeks tend to be drawn towards each other! 😀 )
Have a good week! Looking forward to your “Elephant” post, as well.
Hey John! Cool stories about Wheaton. My daughter may go there to college, she’s a senior this year. With your love of science and science fiction, you’d love the Wrinkle series. They are all about tesseract, mitochondria, faradolae and time travel. The beauty of them is that they also include a quest for God as an underlying theme. They are excellent. Hope you enjoy. P.S. There’s a movie made on the first book. Not really worth seeing…just sayin’
I am not familiar with these, thanks for sharing them.
I hope you get a chance to read them. Especially if you have an adolescent young woman you can read them to or with. They are wonderful.
Ahhhh, A Wrinkle in Time–one of my all time favorites!!!!
Me too Cecelia! I read it every fall.
There are some authors whose work you absolutely must have upon the shelves. L’Engle is one of those authors. Her writing is brilliant. I picked up her autobiography at a used bookstore a while back. Think I’ll have a look at that today. Thanks for the reminder.
I completely agree. She shares everything inside her. Sometimes too much!!! But you truly feel that you know her because of her writing, which you’ve stated is brilliant. What is the title of the autobiography?
I am a book nerd and love to read more than anything else. I would rather read the book than watch the movie. BUT can you believe I have not read any Madeleine? Or at least that I know of. Thanks for the post…..I’m going to get some Madeleine.
Oh my gosh. Go to the library immediately, this very moment…you’re life is just now about to begin…:D
I blogged about her ontological journey as related in a Circle of Quiet a few months back: http://writinginflow.blogspot.com/2011/01/ontology-motherhood-writing-and-god-as.html
Loved the Wrinkle in Time and Austin series. She was truly one of the most brilliant writers, period.
I can’t wait to read it! (your blog) She is truly one of the best writers ever! Right up there with CS Lewis in my book…
I’m not familiar with Madeleine L’Engle. Obviously, she must be a great author to have so many good comments about her work. I’ll have to take a look. Blessings to you…
I think you’d especially like her poetry and non-fiction work…but I’m sure you’d like her children’s literature as well…
I’m not familiar with the author Madeleine L’Engle, but “A Wrinkle In Time” sounds like a very good book. Thank you for the recommendation!
I think you’ll really enjoy her. When she wrote the book, the publishers kept asking her, “Who is this book for?” because they thought it was too deep for children…
Can you believe I’ve never read this book? I’ve known about it for years and years, so now that I have a Nook, I might just purchase it when I finish the current book I’m reading.
You should! Check out Madeleine’s adult non-fiction material too. She also has several things especially for writers….She’s fabulous.
I somehow missed this book as a child but did read it as an adult – maybe five years ago. Loved it and went on to read some of her other books. Thank you for sharing Madeleine’s inspiring story. It does sound familiar and I am encouraged by it.
She got more than twenty six rejections over a span of two years for A Wrinkle in Time…
I haven’t read the series in many years, although I did buy the series as a gift for my grandson. Currently I’m reading her “Ordering of Love” poetry collection. I learned that her dear friend, Luci Shaw, also a writer, lives in my neck of the woods of western Washington.
If I were you, I'd contact her…maybe you could write about her memories with Madeleine as a friend….
This is so crazy! I’m studying to be a middle school language arts teacher so I am setting out to read all the Newbery-winning books I haven’t already read. The first one I chose was A Wrinkle in Time. I was delighted at the Biblical focus and references in it! I didn’t know the story behind the story but I’m not surprised. I’m glad she kept the faith and finally got published!
I’m glad you enjoyed it. A Swiftly Tilting Planet the third in the series was a Newberry finalist. It’s my favorite in the series, I”ll be writing about it on Monday. Welcome to my blog! I hope you come back!
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