A Wrinkle in Time - Summary

Madeleine L'Engle

A Wrinkle in Time Book Cover


“A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle is a captivating and thought-provoking science fiction novel that takes readers on an extraordinary journey through time and space. Published in 1962, this beloved book has become a classic in children’s literature, captivating readers of all ages with its unique blend of adventure, fantasy, and philosophical themes. In this book summary, we will explore the key elements of the story, discuss the main characters, and delve into the underlying messages and lessons conveyed by the author.

The Story Unfolds

The story begins with the introduction of the Murry family, particularly focusing on the protagonist, Meg Murry. Meg is a young girl who struggles with feelings of insecurity and self-doubt. She is accompanied by her brilliant younger brother, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe. The three embark on an extraordinary journey to rescue Meg and Charles Wallace’s father, who has mysteriously disappeared while working on a top-secret government project.

The Mysterious Mrs. Whatsit

One of the most intriguing characters in the book is Mrs. Whatsit, a peculiar and enigmatic woman who appears to be eccentric and slightly otherworldly. Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin encounter her during their quest and soon discover that she possesses extraordinary abilities. Mrs. Whatsit, along with her companions Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, reveals to the children that they possess hidden strengths and are capable of traveling through space and time using a concept known as “tessering.”

A Battle Against Darkness

As the children journey through different dimensions and encounter various beings, they learn about the existence of a malevolent force known as “The Black Thing” or “The Darkness.” This evil entity seeks to engulf the universe in darkness and negativity, spreading fear and despair. Meg and her companions must confront their own fears and insecurities to overcome the darkness and rescue Meg’s father.

The Power of Love and Individuality

Throughout the book, L’Engle emphasizes the power of love and individuality as crucial weapons against darkness. Meg, despite her initial self-doubt, discovers that her love for her family and her unique qualities are her greatest strengths. She learns to embrace her flaws and use them to her advantage, ultimately realizing that it is her individuality that makes her capable of triumphing over evil.

An Intergalactic Adventure

L’Engle masterfully weaves together elements of science fiction and fantasy, creating a vivid and imaginative world that captivates readers. From traveling through a tesseract, a wrinkle in time and space, to encountering strange and fascinating creatures on different planets, the children’s journey is filled with excitement, danger, and wonder. L’Engle’s vivid descriptions and attention to detail bring these fantastical elements to life, making the reader feel as if they are part of the adventure.

Themes of Good vs. Evil and the Importance of Free Will

The battle between good and evil is a central theme in “A Wrinkle in Time.” L’Engle explores the concept of free will and the choices individuals make in the face of darkness. The book emphasizes that the fight against evil requires not only physical strength but also moral courage and the willingness to make difficult choices. L’Engle encourages readers to question authority and think independently, highlighting the importance of individual agency in the face of oppression.

Lessons in Acceptance and Self-Discovery

As Meg and her companions encounter various beings from different planets and dimensions, they learn important lessons about acceptance and self-discovery. They encounter creatures who may appear strange or different, but they come to understand that true beauty lies in diversity. L’Engle encourages readers to embrace differences and appreciate the unique qualities that make each individual special.

The Power of Faith and Belief

Religious and spiritual themes are also woven into the narrative of “A Wrinkle in Time.” L’Engle explores the power of faith and belief, suggesting that there are forces beyond our comprehension that guide the universe. The characters often find solace and strength in their faith, which helps them navigate through difficult situations and overcome challenges. L’Engle’s exploration of faith adds depth and complexity to the story, inviting readers to ponder larger existential questions.


“A Wrinkle in Time” is a timeless and enchanting novel that continues to captivate readers with its blend of adventure, fantasy, and philosophical themes. Madeleine L’Engle’s masterful storytelling and vivid imagination create a world that sparks the reader’s curiosity and imagination. Through the journey of Meg Murry and her companions, readers are reminded of the power of love, individuality, and faith in the face of darkness. “A Wrinkle in Time” serves as a reminder that even the most ordinary individuals can accomplish extraordinary things when they embrace their true selves and believe in the power of love.

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