A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson (artist, adapter) and Madeleine L’Engle
Another ladies comic book club pick. As of writing this, we haven’t had our meeting yet. I’m curious to hear what the other ladies have to say. Especially since I’m sure there will be some nostalgia amongst the group, and lots of excitement for the upcoming movie.
I read the original book when I was 7 or 8, but didn’t remember any of it. This is not surprising as there were many books I’ve read during that era that I’ve completely forgot. It says nothing about the book’s actual value or goodness. I’ve just forgotten (on purpose) many parts of my life.
This means that reading this was basically like an entirely new-to-me book.
Like many stories from this era (1962), the Christian themes ruined some of what I saw as most interesting in the text. L’Engle attempts to merge Christian’s God beliefs with science, and it feels forced. There is both the wonder of the universe, but then our witches turn into angels (who can’t interfere) and it turns into a battle of good vs evil or light vs dark or God vs Satan.
However, I liked the adaptation of it into a comic book very much. Larson is great at what she does here. She simplifies the story, and she often lets it lead with art. Her art is crisp and clear and focused with a childlike wonder at the universe.
Seeing Meg’s emotions compared to only reading them very much eased some of the annoyance adult me would likely have had at her behavior. The same behavior that child me would’ve identified with. (Wow, I’ve tried to reread some of the books I do remember enjoying as a kid, and wow, snotty little kid characters who thought they were so much smarter than the adults, but especially smarter than the other children.)
Calvin seemed like a dropped in love interest to signal Meg growing up. But I have mixed feelings about Meg’s character “flaws,” which seemed over-the-top and overly emphasized by the other characters. It makes sense that Meg would be hypercritical of herself. But let your awkward preteens just be incredibly awkward preteens without being like “so kid, let me bless you by making you more awkward.”
Charles Wallace, on the other hand, came across as incredibly obnoxious and mansplain-y. Meg probably only loves him because he’s her brother. It seems like in other books, something about being adults would’ve prevented them from being able to resist IT. But here you have a mixed message about intellect, and it is intellect and pride that make Charles Wallace fall into IT’s grasp. Charles Wallace never shows an ounce of wanting to conform — if any character doesn’t want to be odd, it’s Meg — so it makes no sense he falls prey to IT.
Why does the mom Katherine just stay at home? Why can’t she have amazing adventures? She’s both getting punished for being a woman who has children by not being able to go to the stars to fight Satan AND by being isolated on Earth for not participating in the PTA enough or something.
I’m looking forward to seeing how Aunt Beast is adapted on screen.
I can see why A Wrinkle in Time is a beloved children’s book. Though I do wonder about lasting powers of books like this given the rise of YA in the recent years with much more varied female characters leading the way and without the Christian themes.