Skip to Main Content

Islington Branch Book Club - Past Titles: "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle

Take a look through previous titles we've discussed at our Islington Branch Book Club

"A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle

  1. Family Dynamics: How does the Murray family dynamics shape the story? What role do familial relationships play in the development of the characters?

  2. Conformity vs. Individuality: Discuss the theme of conformity versus individuality as seen through the characters of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin. How do they each grapple with the pressures to conform or assert their individuality?

  3. Good vs. Evil: Explore the portrayal of good and evil in the novel. How are these concepts represented through characters like Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which? What do their different approaches to combating evil reveal about the nature of good?

  4. Meg's Journey: How does Meg's character evolve throughout the novel? What challenges does she face, and how does she overcome them? What does her journey teach us about resilience and self-discovery?

  5. Friendship and Support: Discuss the role of friendship and support in the novel, particularly in the relationship between Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace. How do these friendships contribute to the characters' growth and the overall outcome of their adventure?

  6. Tesseract and Time Travel: What is the significance of the tesseract and the concept of time travel in the novel? How does it serve as a metaphor for the challenges the characters face and the journey they undertake?

  7. Themes of Love and Acceptance: How are themes of love and acceptance explored in "A Wrinkle in Time"? Consider Meg's love for her family, the love between siblings, and the idea of accepting oneself despite perceived flaws.

  8. Religious and Philosophical Themes: Discuss the religious and philosophical themes present in the novel, such as the battle between light and darkness, the concept of a higher power, and the importance of faith and belief.

  9. The Black Thing: What does the Black Thing represent in the novel? How does it symbolize darkness, fear, and the struggle against oppression and conformity?

  10. The Role of Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit: Analyze the roles of the three celestial beings in guiding Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin on their journey. What do they represent individually and collectively?

Early Life and Education: Madeleine L'Engle was born on November 29, 1918, in New York City, New York, as Madeleine L'Engle Camp. She grew up in a family that valued literature and creativity. Her father, Charles Wadsworth Camp, was a writer, and her mother, Madeleine Hall Barnett, was a pianist.

L'Engle attended Ashley Hall, a boarding school in South Carolina. She then studied at Smith College in Massachusetts, where she majored in English. During her time at college, L'Engle wrote and acted in several plays and developed her passion for writing.

Early Career: After graduating from college in 1941, L'Engle moved to New York City to pursue a career in writing. She worked as an actress and a freelance writer, contributing articles, stories, and poems to various publications.

In 1946, L'Engle married actor Hugh Franklin, with whom she had two children, Josephine and Bion. The family later moved to Connecticut, where L'Engle continued to focus on her writing while also raising her children.

Literary Career: L'Engle published her first novel, "The Small Rain," in 1945. Over the years, she wrote numerous works for children, young adults, and adults, exploring themes of science fiction, fantasy, theology, and the struggles of adolescence.

Her most famous work, "A Wrinkle in Time," was published in 1962 and won the prestigious Newbery Medal in 1963. The novel, which blends elements of science fiction and fantasy, has since become a beloved classic and has been adapted into film, stage productions, and graphic novels.

L'Engle continued to write sequels to "A Wrinkle in Time," including "A Wind in the Door," "A Swiftly Tilting Planet," and "Many Waters." She also wrote other notable works such as the "Austin Family Chronicles" series and the "Time Quintet" series.

Later Years and Legacy: Throughout her career, L'Engle was known for her imaginative storytelling, complex characters, and exploration of philosophical and spiritual themes. She was a prolific writer, publishing more than 60 books over the course of her lifetime.

In addition to her writing, L'Engle was involved in various literary and artistic circles, and she was an active speaker and lecturer. She also taught writing workshops and served as a writer-in-residence at various institutions.

Madeleine L'Engle passed away on September 6, 2007, in Litchfield, Connecticut, at the age of 88. Her legacy continues to live on through her timeless works, which have inspired generations of readers and continue to captivate audiences around the world.


Westwood Public Library

Main Library

660 High Street
Westwood, MA 02090
Email Main Library

Islington Branch

273 Washington Street
Westwood, MA 02090
Email Branch Library