A Wrinkle in Time is, in itself, a beautifully-written and enchanting book. It tells the story of young Meg Murry, a girl who feels like she does nothing right, and who sometimes believes what all of her teachers say about her – that she’s dumb and too different from everyone else. She lives with her brilliant and beautiful mother, her twin brothers Sandy and Dennys, who seem to have it easy and have no trouble fitting in, and her younger brother Charles Wallace, who is her comfort and possibly even more abnormal than she is. The father of the family, a renowned physicist, left nearly two years before to do some top secret work for the government. Not even his family was allowed to know what he was working on, and then he suddenly stopped replying to their letters and seems to have disappeared completely.

The book begins with a storm, and Mrs. Whatsit is swept into the Murry’s kitchen. The strange woman has met Charles Wallace before on his walks and the two of them are friends, though Charles Wallace was afraid to tell his mother or sister about the old lady before. She leaves quite an impression on Meg and Mrs. Murry, and they are curious to know more about her. The day after the storm Charles Wallace takes Meg to meet Mrs. Whatsit and her friends, feeling bad for keeping them a secret. On their way they bump into Calvin O’Keefe, a boy who isn’t quite normal, just like the two siblings. After some deliberation they decide to trust him and bring him along to the “haunted” house where Mrs. Whatsit and Co. are staying. There they meet Mrs. Who. She is just as odd as Mrs. Whatsit and mysteriously tells them that “The time is not yet ripe” and then abruptly sends them away.

Charles Wallace and Meg invite Calvin to dinner at their house, and after dinner the children go outside. Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and their third friend Mrs. Which, show up and use a tesseract or a “wrinkle in time” (a sort of fold through the fifth dimension) to transport the children on an adventurous mission to find the Murry’s lost father and to fight IT, a dark and evil being who thinks that complete order and utter lack of individuality constitute perfection. 

Published in 1962, the book has some obvious parallels to the fear in America of Communist regimes, and stresses the importance of individual thoughts and rights, originality, and differences. Also, though the book mentions God quite a bit, it’s in a rather distant way, and Jesus is made to sound like just a man who helped fight back the shadow of Communist conformity. He’s put on an equal footing with great thinkers and artists such as Buddha, Shakespeare, and Euclid - to name a few that the book mentions. In spite of this the book succeeds in being a charming tale and an enjoyable read. I haven’t yet had the chance to read the other volumes in the Time Quintet, but I’d be willing to give them a try based on the first installment, and should like to know what happens to Meg Murry and her friends next.

Courtney McCullough

Author and Proofreader