Saturday, September 4, 2010

Book "A Swiftly Tilting Planet" by Madeleine L'Engle

About the Book: Meg Murry O'Keefe and her family are just sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner when her father gets a phone call from the White House about a madman's threat of nuclear war. Only an old Irish rune seems to hold a clue to averting worldwide disaster, and when Meg's brother Charles Wallace, now fifteen, recites it, a radiant white beast - the unicorn Gaudior - appears to join him on his quest. But there are only twenty-four hours in which to stop tragedy from occurring. Can Charles Wallace, with the help of Gaudior and Meg, possibly succeed?

About the Author: Madeleine L’Engle (1918–2007) was born in New York City and attended Smith College. She wrote more than 60 books, the most famous of which is A Wrinkle In Time (1962), winner of the Newbery Award in 1963. L’Engle continued the story of the Murry family from A Wrinkle In Time with seven other novels (five of which are available as A Wrinkle In Time Quintent from Square Fish). She also wrote the famous series featuring the Austin family, beginning with the novel Meet The Austins (1960). L’Engle revisited the Austins four more times over the next three decades, concluding with Troubling a Star in 1994. The story of the Austins had some autobiographical elements, mirroring Madeleine’s life and the life of her family. Madeleine L’Engle’s last book, The Joys of Love, is a romantic, coming-of-age story she wrote back in the 1940s, and is being published by FSG.

My Review: This is a fascinating science-fiction story that in many aspects brought back to my mind the idea of a scientist name Edward Lorenz, who in 1963 exposed his theory that "a butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air - eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet". More than thirty years later this theory was accepted with the status of a "law" known as The Law of Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Conditions.
In this book, our hero Charles Wallace travels in time with the help of an unicorn (Gaudior) in order to try to avoid a major disaster on earth. Going within four other people in different times he is able to change a "Might-Have-Been" situation with the help of his sister Meg and an old Irish rune. This is a fast reading book and a page turner that took me around nine hours to finish. Very enjoyable!
If you are reading this review, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.

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