A Swiftly Tilting Planet – Madeleine L’Engle

I’ve owned this children’s book for as long as I can remember, yet don’t recall ever reading it, which is especially strange considering how much I like the two that came before it (check out my posts). It was my desire to final finish the series (more on that in a moment) which caused me to (re)pick up L’Engle’s classic stories about the bright and insecure Meg, her brilliant and strange little brother, Charles Wallace, and her popular and intelligent boyfriend, Calvin.

Nine years have past and now Charles Wallace, with the aid of a unicorn, must travel through time and merge with various characters—mainly decedents of one of two brothers whose offspring are constantly reenacting Cain and Able-like struggles—in order to advert nuclear destruction. Sadly, we lose Meg as our focus point and while Charles Wallace would be welcomed, we are really presented with numerous tales about two warring Welshmen. Additionally, the scientific aspects that L’Engle incorporated so nicely before are lacking here.

As I read, I recognized some elements early on in the story, which make me think I had at least started reading it some quarter of a century ago and stopped because the style is so incongruent to the early two. This time I completed the tale and was glad to do so; however, I had thought this to be the last of the series and, apparently, am incorrect. I hear that there are two more; one focuses on the twins and the other returns us to Meg who has not turned out as I hoped, and that neither book is very good. For better or worse I shall not be reading those. In some small measure I have both recaptured a part of my youth and completed a task long left undone and am happier for it, but considering that this novel was not her best I am better off taking what pleasure I’ve achieved and moving on.