a wrinkle in time reviewed by linda samaritoni

Initial question: Geometry, Physics, Bible. Which one of these is not like the others? Which one of these doesn’t belong? (Anyone hear the echoes of a Sesame Street jingle?) Place the three subjects side by side, and most people will separate the Bible from the other two. Wrong!

Trick question. The Bible refers to all kinds of scientific and mathematical ideas. It surrounds them. Its Author created those two subjects that so many of us dread in high school. And math and physics are what Madeleine L’Engle brought to life over fifty years ago in A Wrinkle in Time.

Now, I don’t have a scientific bone in my body, and spatial relationships remain a mystery to me. I’m not even a fan of science fiction. Yet, A Wrinkle in Time is my all-time favorite book. I read it when I was ten, and I’ve revisited it several times since. In each read-through, I find new nuggets of information, not only having to do with science and math, but the deep, scriptural truths in the life God created.

An overview: Meg Murry, an under-achieving geek in her freshman year of high school, not only can’t get along with anyone at school, she’s also worried sick over her father who has been missing for years. Two of her little brothers just want to go forward in life, but the youngest brother, Charles, is special. He’s a lot like Meg – brilliant, odd, and he just seems to know things.

Enter three incredible creatures: Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. These three “old ladies” send Meg and Charles on a journey through the universe to rescue their father. How do they travel? By way of a wrinkle in time. Accompanying them is Caleb, a guy at Meg’s high school. Caleb is far more popular than Meg could ever hope to be, but he has his own special abilities that are needed on this quest.

Although God is barely mentioned by name in the book, Bible verses thread their way through every situation. Joy in a creation untouched by the shadow of evil. Light shining against darkness. God using the weak and foolish. All-conquering love.

Final question: What is a “tesseract?” This math-challenged writer would love to know.

Linda Samaritoni

Linda Samaritoni


12 thoughts on “a wrinkle in time reviewed by linda samaritoni

  1. No idea what a tesseract is but I’m weighing in. I “fake read” A Wrinkle in Time in fifth grade and I’m kind of glad I did. I didn’t read it until a couple of years ago when I started writing speculative fiction. As I now love the genre and I’m a more-mature Christian, I was able to truly appreciate the world Madeline L’Engle created.


    • Me, too, Gretchen. When I was a kid, I loved the climax for the emotion. Now I see all the deeper messages that Madeleine L’Engle had planted throughout the book.


  2. A tesseract. It’s that thing that caused Captain America to be frozen for 40 years and then showed up to wreak havoc during the Avengers. LOL


  3. I searched “tesseract” and found definitions and even a video, but I still don’t understand. It’s a cube in 4 dimensions but it’s a hard concept to grasp.


  4. A tesseract is an 8-cell cubic prism. The tesseract is to the cube what the cube is to the square. In Wrinkle, the tesseract is referred to passing through to other levels of creation. It’s hinted at in the Happy Medium section. I love this book and still do.


  5. I thought A Wrinkle in Time was fantastic. So I researched Madeleine L’Engle but her theology was somewhat sketchy to me. I can’t reconcile my feelings on the book to my feelings on her beliefs so I quit reading her work.


    • I don’t know much about her beliefs. What was it that bothered you? Do you have the same problem with c.s. Lewis? In the last Narnia book he had some universalism going on. Or is it more of an Ann Rice thing? I’m curious.


      • Well, I don’t love the universalism but I can ignore that in George MacDonald. My problem is her is the interviews and articles I read are so vague sometimes. Like she talks and talks and says all these things that sound profound and yet I feel like it’s just a lot of words not really saying anything. And the things she does say touch so lightly on certain subjects that it’s like she’s walking on the fence to appear one way but could easily be meaning another. “Someone once asked me if the fact that I was a Christian affected the way I work. I said no, but the way I work affects my Christianity.” I can handle MacDonald’s universalism because it’s honest and blunt. L’Engle comes across to me as a lot of fog, theology based on feels instead of scripture, etc. Basically, even if there’s nothing concrete, I get flashing warning lights when I look at L’Engle and that’s enough for me.

        I don’t see the universalism in The Last Battle – are you referring to Emeth ending up in Aslan’s Country? That would probably be a good discussion! 🙂


    • I understand your ambivalence. I probably haven’t researched as diligently as you have, yet I realized that she did not have orthodox points of view. However, I love the theme in A Wrinkle in Time, and it sounds like you did, too. Thanks for taking time to visit Scriblerians and adding your comment.



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