REEL LIT REFLECTIONS: A WRINKLE IN TIME

This post contains affiliate links, please review our Disclosure Policy.

A Wrinkle in Time Book Cover

Title: A Wrinkle in Time
Author: Madeleine L’Engle
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Publication Date: 1962
Summary: On a dark and stormy night, Meg Murry, her younger brother Charles Wallace, and their mother receive an unexpected visit by a disturbing stranger. Meg’s father mysteriously disappeared after experimenting with the fifth dimension of time travel. Now, Meg, her classmate Calvin, and Charles Wallace must outwit the forces of evil through space to rescue him.

My First Wrinkle

I would easily lose track of the count if I had to remember that number of times I read or heard someone say how much they loved this book as a kid and even as an adult. I, however, had not only never read the book, but I wasn’t even really familiar with it until recently. I was excited to experience A Wrinkle in Time based on the excitement from those who raved about it in the bookosphere and because of the visually stimulated previews I saw for the movie adaptation. Overall, I was underwhelmed by the book, which was quite a disappointment because I really, really, really, really wanted to love this book as much as other bibliophiles love it.

However, the pace for the majority of the book was much too slow for my liking, and the end was wrapped up too easily and too quickly for my taste. Plus, the end of the book did not entice me to continue reading the series. The good news is the characters are really what helped me enjoy certain parts of the book. I love, love, love, love the precocious “5 going on 50” Charles Wallace! He was too smart for his own good, which got him into a pickle during the story. But! He accepted the eccentric Mrs. W’s without question and believed in Meg before she believed in herself, and that makes him one of the best sidekicks in my book! Also, like so many other fans of A Wrinkle in Time, I LOVED Aunt Beast, the gentle alien who cares for Meg when she is at her lowest low. Everyone needs an Aunt Beast in their lives!

A Beautiful + Flawed Adaptation

Being able to see the movie version of A Wrinkle in Time and understand the story was the main reason for reading the book. Although the book didn’t blow me away, I was still excited about seeing the movie because I needed to see a visual representation for that book. I was also looking forward to Ava DuVernay’s interpretation of the book since I could already see differences while reading the book based on previews when it came to the Mrs. W’s and the Murry family. However, those changes did not affect my enjoyment of the movie. I loved that the family was multicultural. I loved the movie’s interpretation of the three Mrs. W’s, especially the wise sage and god-like Mrs. Which. That role was made for Queen Oprah!

The only concept of the Mrs. W’s that I could have done without were Mrs. Who’s quotes. Don’t get me wrong, I love that she only speaks in quotes, but I wanted to hear more of the quotes from the book. I guess they wanted  more modern quotes that the audience who hadn’t read the book would enjoy? The only aspect of the movie that didn’t sit well with me was the absence of everyone’s favorite eyeless four-armed alien. I wanted Meg to receive that extra dose of love before entering the final battle. I also would have liked more of the banter between the kids and The Man with Red Eyes that we experienced in the book. I wasn’t a fan of the quick beach scene. What was wrong with the original location of CENTRAL Central Intelligence?

Overall Opinion

Although I would not consider myself fan of the book, it was an enjoyable read, and I can see why it was a childhood favorite for others. I don’t see myself reading A Wrinkle in Time again, but I would be happy to introduce it to the book-loving kids in my life. I can definitely say the same about the movie. It was visually stunning, bold, and bright, but I will not be adding this one to my Netflix queue anytime soon.

The Final Grade

Laborious Literature: I had to read more than 75% of the book before it captured my attention, which is sad because the ending came too quickly afterwards. However, the characters were engaging and kept me reading until the book hooked me.

Kettle Korn: The movie was beautiful and definitely took literary license with the story because I was sad by the absence of some major characters from the book. However, the movie still upheld the theme of love being central for Meg to realize her own strength and the power she always had within her to defeat IT.

Your Turn

So…have you read A Wrinkle in Time? Have you watched A Wrinkle in Time? How would you rate the adaptation? Let us know in the comments! |RL

P.S. Want more Reel Lit? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Reel Literature Digest!

6 Comments

  1. Gayathri Lakshminarayanan

    I had not heard of the book until last year, a little before the film was announced. And it didn’t blow me away, maybe I was too grown up for it. But I will definitely be watching the movie, at least for the visual treat that everyone has been talking about it.

  2. One of my favorite books! I loved Charles Wallace too 🙂 he’s so adorable and wise. I really have to see the movie, although I think I should reread the book before I do. I know a lot of people didn’t love the book, but I think I did because I adopted a child’s per as I was reading, so I was super gullible and let go a of a lot of things that didn’t make sense. And emotionally, I loved the story, and I guess that’s what matters 🙂

    1. Charles Wallace really is the best! And I totally agree that connecting with the story emotionally is really all that matters in the end. I wish the story would have connected more with me, but I know we can’t be fans of all the books. As someone who loves the book, I would love to know your thoughts on the movie when you get around to seeing it.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION!