About the Book

Book Protagonist: Meg Murry
Publication Date: 1962
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Teen and Young Adult


A Wrinkle in Time

By Madeleine L'Engle

Madeleine L'Engle’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ is an important work for the genre of young adult fiction and the broader children’s literature genre. It is packed with helpful themes that are core to every teen’s development and has inspired generations of children since its 1962 publication.

Despite a third of the book dripping with fantasies and a make-believe storyline that includes ‘tessering’ across planets, there always seems to be a vital lesson left hidden by author Madeleine L’Engle on every page of ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’ This article takes us through an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of such a fine piece of literature.

The Strength

A Wrinkle in Time’ is beautifully written and has quite the storyline of a classic sci-fi novel. Its themes, fictional planets, and characters are unique and not nearly as generic as most books of this genre are. After reviewing the book, I’ve come up with a few headings for how I think L’Engle gave strength to the book.

The complete sci-fi package

L’Engle’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ is not only one of the earliest sci-fi books for young adults but also one of the best from such a genre. From space tech to space travel, from extraterrestrial life forms to aliens and beasts on another planet, among other things. The book includes all the core components that readers of sci-fi books love to see.

L’Engle warms the reader up for an engaging sci-fi angle with Meg’s father and brilliant scientist, Mr Murry, who is understood to have been researching the fifth dimension as he tries to uncover the secrets to interplanetary travels. Things, however, quickly go south in the lab, and he finds himself trapped on another planet, Camazotz, lost forever, or so it seems.

After about two years of his missing, a team of earthly juveniles and three sage women are led by his daughter Meg as she commands warfare into the territory of the aliens to save him, who is now being incarcerated by the leader of Camazotz’s evil forces, IT. 

The ensuing battle between the human race and a very sophisticated alien civilization led by IT isn’t going to be an easy one – especially with the alien power having the ability to control and manipulate human psychology. But L’Engle without a doubt, presents this story in the most exciting and engaging manner ever possible, and of course worthy of a proper sci-fi narrative.

An Adventure of Bravery, Fear, and Emotion Powered by Love

L’Engle’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ clearly is a book for young people and is rightly stated by the author. However, it is interesting to see the number of brave showings on the part of the child characters, especially Meg, and frankly, we shouldn’t be seeing this level of intrepidness from this age grade. 

When the trio Meg Charles Wallace and Calvin O’keefe sign up for the adventure to rescue Mr. Mury on planet Camazotz, they are warned they are going to face unimaginable fear and emotional turmoil going into the evil planet, and that is exactly what they face. 

At a glance, the majority of readers, and I thought so too, might find this adventure impossible, particularly for characters of such age, but the author appears to have made this trip a realistic one by empowering Meg, the book’s protagonist, with the power of love – and it all makes sense how this powerful instrument drives their courage and morale.

To have an understanding of just how much love plays an important role in nurturing bravery in the face of a terrifying quest for the characters, one goes as far back as the opening plot of the book, where the author lets her readers know the tremendous loving culture that exists within the Murry family. 

Despite the disappearance of her husband, Mrs. Murry never jokes about loving, caring, and always turning up for her children – even having to put in extra effort just so they miss or get affected too much by their father’s absence. Among the Murrys siblings, Sandy and Dennys Murry, the twin boys and Meg’s juniors, would go the length to even fight and beat up other kids who try to disrespect or maul their big sister Meg. 

This deep level of love is exchanged between each member of the Murry family, and perhaps what we see with Meg proves to be the biggest of them all. For love’s sake, she embarks on a life-threatening journey to save her father. And for the same reason, she risk’s everything to rescue her brother Charles Wallace in the final part of the book.

The Science Behind a Wrinkle

Another aspect of ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ I thought was appealing was the fact that L’Engle added a science side to it. The author noted that at the time of her writing the novel – around the early 60s, the scientist Albert Einstein was making waves with his book on relativity theory, a book which the author found interest in and read. 

Einstein’s space and time ideas came just in time for the author – inspiring several chapters in her work ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ – particularly chapter 5, which is titled; ‘The Tesseract.’ although one can argue that the fourth and fifth dimensions are more theoretical than they are practical, some of the ideas left in this chapter are very high end and have mathematical logics in themselves. 

This is one of the reasons why this book has a greater appeal and stands out from all the other works of the same genre because the author has been able to prove to her audience that her work goes beyond being just a mere fantasy, but a realistic foreshadowing of what could eventually be in the nearest future.

The Weakness

Just as it is for me, it may be hard for other readers to spot weaknesses in L’Engle’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ because of how much of a good read the book is. But even acclaimed authors know that their best work is never complete or perfect. So in this light, I’ve singled out below a few aspects of the book which I think make up the book’s weakness.

Long-winded Dialogues

This is one of the very few faults that the reader can easily notice while reading L’Engle’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’ one can understand the author’s need to try and bring to life the ideas of her characters, but that comes at the expense of having unnecessarily verbose dialogues that work in complete deterrence to the speed of rising action at important points of the book.

Less than needed description for major characters

L’Engle does an impressive job of describing her lead character Meg Murry – along with a few others; for these lot, the descriptions are so good that reading the words feels like one is seeing their pictures. While this can be said of Meg, it can’t exactly be said of other characters – some of which are the three-star sisters whose descriptions still leave the reader not fully picturing the full reality of their likeness.

A Wrinkle in Time: A Heroic Tale about Children who Save the World from Imminent Doom
  • Plot
  • Characterization
  • Diction
  • Style
  • Setting
  • Impression

A Wrinkle in Time Review

Known as one of the greatest works in the children’s fiction category, Madeleine L’Engle’s award-winning novel, ‘A Wrinkle in Time,’ continues to inspire generations of young people with a fiery tale of space, spirituality, and science. The book is very engaging for all ages and is packed with important moral lessons for especially children and younger persons. 


  • Logically scientific plot
  • Engaging storyline
  • Strong characters 


  • long dialogues
  • Shallow characters’ descriptions
  • Too many unknown settings
Victor Onuorah
About Victor Onuorah
Victor is as much a prolific writer as he is an avid reader. With a degree in Journalism, he goes around scouring literary storehouses and archives; picking up, dusting the dirt off, and leaving clean even the most crooked pieces of literature all with the skill of analysis.
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