An Acceptable Time is the fifth book in the time series by L'Engle. But it's also a part of the 2nd generation (O'Keefe) series and there's even a little bit of the Chronos series that plays into it. And as such, without reading the rest of those books, you'll be kind of lost in this book I think. So it's a hard one for me to suggest someone read unless they're a big fan of L'Engle.
O'Keefe is visiting her grandparents when a time gate opens on the
property. She, the retired bishop and a friend named Zachary Gray are
swept three thousand years in the past, and some people from the past
are also able to visit them in the future. But there's trouble three
thousand years ago in the form of a drought. And that drought is making
the people think they need a sacrifice, and Polly seems like the
perfect candidate to them.
Polly was hard to connect to in this
book. It could partially be because I haven't read the O'Keefe series
in awhile and didn't get to be refreshed on her history. But I also
think that she was maybe a little too perfect and didn't do anything
wrong. She didn't seem very real. In contrast, Zachary was as big of a
jerk as ever. It seems that he doesn't have any redeemable qualities
and even his pick up lines are the same they used on Vickie Austin in
the Chronos series. He hasn't changed at all despite aging. Which was
slightly disappointing and it made it predictable what he would do. The
Bishop was interesting, he wasn't your traditional religious figure.
L'Engle uses him to speak her religious beliefs, which are
unconventional and interesting.
The plot was ok. I liked the
idea of time circles, but I wasn't as fond of the execution. Aside from
Polly just doing weird things for someone supposedly so intelligent,
the other characters weren't very developed with the exception of the
Bishop. And the book just didn't flow with the usual grace that L'Engle
had. The science and magic was still there, but it was disjointed. I
still think that her writing is beautiful, but maybe by the time this
book came around she was wearing out a bit. She's also a religious
writer, for those not familiar with her works, and depending on your
branch of religion or feelings towards religion, she could be a bit
preachy for some. I personally find her beliefs on religion to be
interesting and definitely non-mainstream.
Not one of her better
ones but a bad book by L'Engle is still pretty good compared to a lot of
books out there. As said before, if you are a big fan, read this book.
An Acceptable Time