I finished rereading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. It holds up, I think, though the “room full of computing machines” is a little amusing. It’s very much 60s Sci Fi.
This time I was struck especially by the description of the kids seeing the “dark thing” shadowing our planet (in the chapter “The Tesseract”).
“But what is it?” Calvin demanded. “We know that it’s evil, but what is it?”
“Yyouu hhave ssaidd itt!” Mrs. Which’s voice rang out. “Itt iss Eevill. Itt iss thee Ppowers of Ddarrkknesss!”
“But what’s going to happen?” Meg’s voice trembled. “Oh, please, Mrs. Which, tell us what’s going to happen!”
“Wee wwill cconnttinnue tto ffightt!”
The other part I love is the part in which Mrs. Whatsit compares life to a sonnet (“The Foolish and the Weak” chapter). We have a strict form that we can’t change, but what we write within is up to us. I grew up with the whole “Finding God’s will for your life” trope, and this idea that I can write my own story is freeing for me. The idea that there is only one right thing to do, person to marry, choice to make is just scary. The idea of trying to make the choice that fights the darkness, shines the light, brings joy, points to what is Holy, etc., and that many choices can do that, well, that I can live with.
And Aunt Beast (in the eponymous chapter) is one of my favorite things in any book ever.
Check out this 90-second-Newbery video. My favorite line (but you really need to see it to do it justice; it’s all in the delivery), “I’m Calvin O’Keefe. I’m popular, but sensitive. Only I understand just how special you are, Meg.” (Sorry I can’t embed video.)