A Swiftly Tilting Planet (Time #3)
But in overcoming the challenges, Charles Wallace must face the ultimate test of his faith and will, as he is sent within four people from another time, there to search for a way to avert the tragedy threatening them all.
When you break it down to it’s basic parts, it doesn’t look like this story could possibly work. And yet, somehow, it does. Not perfectly or without some name-related confusion. But what it sometimes lacks in clear logical progression it makes up for in sheer wonderment, empathy-building, and that Murry family bond which readers have—by this point—come to know and love.
In the first book of this series, the focus was on travel through outer space. The second book centered on traveling through inner-space. And this, the third book, revolves around the space-time continuum. There’s a bit of space travel in this one as well, as we take a little detour to the Unicorn homeworld… (yes, I just wrote that.) The entire story takes place over the course of a day, but spans hundreds of fictional years and many generations.
L’Engle’s writing shows a growth in complexity within this book that makes it stand out a bit above the first two books, in this reader’s opinion. As ever, her style is perplexing yet somehow lovely. And the emotional depth she achieves by giving us a glimpse into Mrs. O’Keefe’s background is absolutely moving. (I’d thought I was quite content in not liking that woman. But the author didn’t allow her to continue on as a one-note side character, and I love her for that.)
I keep seeing reviewers raging at the fact that Meg is pregnant in this book, seeming to resent her biological state and claiming she “doesn’t do anything” in this story. Sorry, (not sorry) but I call malarkey on that assertion. Yes, she’s now married to Calvin and a bit encumbered by being late-term preggers. Yet, it’s that very condition that makes her an ideal candidate for telepathically aiding Charles Wallace in the general save-the-world endeavors. The premise of this book is all about protecting the future by going back and repairing a past that has been sabotaged. It’s about legacy and lineage. And it effectively drives the stakes higher to be constantly aware that it’s not just the entire impersonal world population that’s theoretically in peril—it’s our brilliant beloved Meg, and the unborn baby she may never get a chance to meet.
(Also, Meg has been the main active character for the first two books. The girl deserves a break. And considering he’s now 15, Charles Wallace certainly deserves his own coming-of-age opportunity.)
So far, this has been my favorite book in this fantasy/sci-fi series.
Now that Meg has grown up to be pretty and has a husband and a baby on the way, she seems pretty secure in herself. Interesting. Honestly, I got really tired of Meg talking about her looks halfway through the first book. I'm sure the fact that she's grown up to be pretty like her mother is supposed to teach that things may look bad when you're young, but they get better when you grow up. What I got out of it, though, was that Meg's self-worth seems to be tied up in her looks.
Oh good gosh, this is when things really start to get boring. Most of the story takes place in Meg's head while she's kything with Charles Wallace who is in someone /else's/ head from the past. I don't even really know what went on for most of the story because (1 it was confusing as heck and (2 I was busy trying to keep myself awake. Basically, Charles Wallace's meddling in the past (which a unicorn permitted, so it's okay) prevents a nuclear war in the book's present.
I honestly felt like I'd wasted my time after finishing this one, and I was listening to it at work, so there was plenty of time to waste.
Let me go back. In between A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet, many years have passed. Meg and Calvin have married; Calvin is eminent in his studies, and Meg, having abandoned her excellent mathematical intelligence is pregnant with her first child.
The crisis of the book is brought forward at the opening when Mr. Murry receives a call from the President, asking for his help because a dictator, Mad Dog Branzillo, is threatening nuclear war. Mom O'Keefe, who came for Thanksgiving dinner, remembers a rune (essentially a prayer or phrase imbued with magic powers), which saves them from nasty weather (an over the top metaphor for impending doom). She gives this rune to Charles Wallace, and tells him he needs to stop Mad Dog.
He goes out to the star-watching rock to think about this, kything with Meg the whole time. There he meets a unicorn, whose mission it is to travel with him through time, which unicorns born from eggs can do by the way. They hop around randomly in time, and, at almost every time, Charles Wallace has to go 'within' a person there, which means that he can see things through there eyes and have a small impact on what they're doing. Basically, he just says the rune in all of the important places, so that he can make everything happy again.
Way to make a unicorn lame, Madeleine L'Engle. Also, what is with this rune business? Deus ex rune. Ugh. It is evident that L'Engle believes not in Christianity precisely, or, at least, not in Christianity as it is commonly worshiped. However, it is all bound up in her writing. This whole book is built around a family, who through generations have been reliving Cain and Abel. Lovely, I know.
Actually, that's not quite right. More like, two families who kept doing this, and the end result of their line was this Mad Dog Branzillo character. Of course, maybe that's because these two families kept intermarrying. I think the message I was supposed to get from this book was something about peace and goodness, but all I really got was that incest makes for badness, which I already fully believed.
When I was younger, I remember having loved the first book. I thought Meg and Calvin had this completely epic romance. They were one of the best couples in fiction, I think I thought at one point. Now, I have no idea why. There was only the slightest hint of romance in the first books. Then in book three they're married and pregnant. What the heck is that? Why would you skip the best freaking parts, L'Engle? And why can't Meg use her smarts that you spent the first two books proving she had?
Suffice it to say that I will not be reading Many Waters. It's been kind of fun revisiting these, but they're definitely not what I thought they were, which is another kind of entertaining. So sad when books are not nearly so good when read through the eyes of an adult.
I found this book absolutely wonderful how they take all of the mysteries of the universe and compact them into a number of simple question or take a simple question you might asked every single day and really make you think like where are we? or how can it be done? she also make the entire story a new turn with each page you may think you understand what is going to happed next and then you're completely in the dark I would highly recommend this book for anyone who like to think if not steer clear.
This is a very complex book. Meg and Charles Wallice have to untangle the threads of time to prevent a madman from destroying the Earth, with the help of a time-traviling unicorn. I'm a big fan of this series, and Swiftly Tilting Planet is defenetly my favorite.
I haven't exactly read all of the book, but it is a pretty good book, well from what I remember. It is about a kid who is having these dreams and is soon traveling into his dream and it becomes like an adventure.
Madeliene L'Engle has a few books that i've read and she is one of my favorite authors.
I have read A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET, A RING OF ENDLESS LIGHT (TEENAGER'S BOOK ONLY), and A WRINKLE IN TIME.