Thursday, July 30, 2009

Reflections: A Wrinkle in Time

Having found a very promising and good source of books recently, I'm looking forward to quite a few interesting reads :)

It's been a really long time since I indulged myself in a fantasy tale of happy endings. I constantly had to restrict myself from going near Children's Fantasy novels with the reminder that I was growing up (or grown up) and it's about time I read more "grown up" serious books and amass all the knowledge about the Universe ;). But a Wrinkle in Time fits the bill perfectly. Having been lauded with the Newbery Medal, Sequoyah Book Award, and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, the book is undoubtedly a wonderful and enjoyable read for children. At the same time ,the science fantasy that strings together the tale gives the book a lot of ground for adults (or young adults) to appreciate.

A brilliant physicist with his charming and intelligent microbiologist wife, heads a family of four unique children - an impulsive and impatient girl with intelligence masked by her stubbornness, very normal twin boys, and a very highly developed and intelligent little boy. The physicist experiments with a fifth dimension of time travel and unfortunately gets lost in space, in a very curious, highly controlling and menacing "Dark Planet". The impatient girl, and the intelligent little boy set off to rescue their father with the help of three curious creatures from another planet, and a red-headed boy from their neighborhood. The book takes us on a journey of their adventure through space, their encounters with curious inhabitants of other planets and their ways of life, and their battle against the "Dark Thing".

A worthy point is that this book was published in 1962, even before scientists and astrophysicists had discovered or "seen" planets much beyond the solar system, or had identified and defined Black Holes. It was a time before computers and technology invaded the planet to this extent. With that perspective, it's quite commendable that the author had an imagination so well tuned with the future that she could translate it in such a beautiful manner through a tale that children can enjoy. Most science fiction novels are shielded from children for their apparent gore and depressive nature, asides being very technically involved. But this book encompasses some of the most heavy concepts that Physicists have been concerned with, and they have been seamlessly transformed into an enchanting fantasy tale that will tease curious and very relevant scientific thoughts from children. This goes on to say that the fantasy does not entirely lack in "logic", so as to be trivialised as a fairy tale.

Also, despite being a children's book, the language and style of writing are a little more elegant and profound so it doesn't run the risk of sounding kiddish and elementary.

Reading the book took me back to my younger days, and such a time travel was as magical as the concept of "wrinkling in time" :)

No comments: