December 27, 2012

Many Waters by Madeline L'Engle

When it comes to the Time series by L'Engle, I'd have to say that this is my least favorite. It's not that it isn't well written, L'Engle has a beautiful way with words, but this one doesn't inspire that passion and love of reading that her other works can.

Sandy and Dennys are the normal ones of the Murray family. While the rest are odd geniuses, they are highly intelligent but average twin boys. Well, at least until they stumble into one of their dad's experiments and end up in a strange place. Even worse, they end up brutally sunburned and are only saved by the short race of people living in an oasis in the desert they are dropped in. But as they heal, they see that not all is what they think. There are strange creatures here, and a man named Noah who's story they are very familiar with.

For character development, this is one of the better books of L'Engle. We never see much of the twins in the other books and they are the main characters of this one. And L'Engle really takes the time to describe them and their personality, and most importantly their differences as they are twins. And the people they encounter; Noah, his father, his daughter, they are all bright examples of the goodness a person can be while still ultimately being human. Even the Seraphim and Nephilim were interesting concepts introduced to this book. And the mammoths were incredibly adorable and made me wish they were real.

The plot, as you may have guessed, centers around the Biblical flood. And as such, this book has a religious tone to it, although not in the usual way. L'Engle likes to combine fantasy with science and religion and her style is very unique. But this one definitely was more religious than a great many of her other books. And I did find the writing in this one to be a little less beautiful than in the others. Before she would include poetry and detailed descriptions of lovely things. This one she just told the story. And it even had some sexual undertones to it which was another thing I wasn't used to seeing in her books. It's not bad, just not her usual.

I dearly love L'Engle's books and always feel a sense of home when I read them. Just because this one isn't my favorite doesn't mean it's not a worthy read. I strongly encourage any reader to try out a book of L'Engle.

Many Waters
Copyright 1986
310 pages

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