I just got out of seeing A Wrinkle in Time, the latest Hollywood delve into classics from my childhood. I’ve honestly been pretty hype for this movie since I saw the first trailer. The book meant so much to me growing up, and the movie was a genuine labor of love by the director, Ava DuVernay. I’m glad it’s out and that the movie theater was packed with families full of kids. It’s a story that I hope means as much to a new generation of readers as it did to me.
I read this book several times growing up, and its sequel, A Wind in the Door, was one of my go-to annual rereads. The four books that make up Madelaine L’Engle’s Time Quartet are magical, cerebral, philosophical science-fantasy adventures. The main character of the first two books, Meg, is a shy, awkward nerd girl whose love is capable of reaching across universes and filling emptiness with light. Given that I was an awkward nerd girl growing up, and given my taste for happy endings, well…you can guess the appeal.
It is fitting that the movie is a labor of love, since love is a prevailing theme for not just the original book but the whole Quartet. The antagonists in these books are an abstracted darkness, a virulent emptiness that brings out the worst in people and spreads throughout the universe. But the answer is always love: our willingness to connect with others, to open ourselves up to embrace each other and ourselves, despite our flaws and limitations as human beings.
In the universe of the Time Quartet, stars sing for the joy of existing. That is an image I still carry with me.
And I think the movie does an admirable job capturing that aspect of the books. There is a joy in this story that is unmistakable, that shines through as light. And joy is just one exuberant form of love.