Book Review: Many Waters by Madeleine L’Engle

I started Many Waters (Fantasy 310 pages) by Madeleine L’Engle probably about a month ago and didn’t get around to finishing it until today.

I think I might have gotten more out of this story if I knew more about events from the Bible. Granted, I should have known going in that this was going to be a story with religious ties, but somehow I thought I might still be able to get something interesting out of the story.

I originally read A Wrinkle In Time, A Wind In a Door, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet when I was a kid and then I reread them sometime last year as I was going through my books to make a dent in the ones that I own but haven’t read. The first three books in this series were a lot more complicated than I remembered, but to be fair I didn’t really remember much of those three books except that the center cannot hold. That phrase has stuck with me all my life and I’m not even quite sure why.

I was a little disappointed that this book didn’t contain adventures from the characters from the first three books, Meg and Charles Wallace. While the rest of the family is mentioned, this story focuses on Sandy and Denny and their journey back to the world just before the flood and the story of Noah’s Ark. I wasn’t really curious about the twins as characters in the first three books so I guess that might have colored my ability to genuinely care about what happened to them in this story. And also they’re twins, but it still took me about three-fourths of the book to be able to tell them even partially apart.

The idea of time travel and seeing what the world would have or could have been like in the days before the flood was very intriguing and detailed. Things like how the people were smaller and had such a significantly different lifestyle. Most of the time, I think of the past in passing, but I never really stop to think about what life for previous generations or centuries really could have been like. Not on an individual or personal level, anyway. Sure, I can acknowledge that air travel and automobiles are newer inventions and that people used to live in a world without recorded music, but I never really stop to think about how the things we take for granted would affect the bigger parts of your life. How long would it take you to travel to your neighbor’s dwelling area if you had to walk across a desert on your own feet to do it? Just little things like that that we consistently take for granted.

Overall, I think it was an interesting story, but not one I’m likely to read again unless I suddenly do a whole bunch of Biblical or scientific research to understand more of the concepts that were discussed in this book.

About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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