This is one of those books that I can truly say had a very huge influence on my life. I cannot remember being interested in anything remotely scientific or based in the Real World, but Mrs. L'Engle inspired me to look outside my comfort zone. I did not just love the Time Quartet, but I learned to love other books by giving them a chance.
Meg Murry is a teenage girl who doesn't quite fit in with her schoolmates, her community, or even her own family. As her brother Charles Wallace puts it, she's not one thing or another. In addition to finding herself, she is faced with challenge of finding her missing father with her four year old brother and sports star Calvin O'Keefe.
While it is a coming of age novel, it is also a great example of The Hero's Journey. Meg has to travel across the universe on a quest, battle an epic villain, and learn from her travels.
With all of that said, the best thing about the book is the characters. Every time I read or think about the book, I always wish that I had Charles Wallace as a little brother, a Calvin O'Keefe to long after, and three science-maven godmothers to lead me in the right direction, but let me follow my own path.
I'm always disappointed to hear that this book is no longer required reading, but my daughter will be required to read it because it's a beautiful story about love that transcends genre, religion, and science.
Format - Audiobook read by Madeleine L'Engle, finished 6/3/11
It is important to note that there is much to be gained by a story being told verbally, even more so when told by the author. However, having the story read by the author, who is also a master storyteller, is a magnificent experience. She was able to portray aspects of the book that have slipped past my notice, despite the countless times that I have read it. I hope to make listening to Mrs. L'Engle read her work an annual experience.