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An Acceptable Time

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A flash of lightning, quivering ground, and, instead of her grandparents' farm, Poly sees mist and jagged mountains - and coming toward her, a group of young men carrying spears. Why has a time gate opened and dropped Polly into a world that existed 3,000 years ago? Will she be able to get back to the present before the time gate closes - and leaves her to face a group of p A flash of lightning, quivering ground, and, instead of her grandparents' farm, Poly sees mist and jagged mountains - and coming toward her, a group of young men carrying spears. Why has a time gate opened and dropped Polly into a world that existed 3,000 years ago? Will she be able to get back to the present before the time gate closes - and leaves her to face a group of people who believe in human sacrifice? A quiet visit with her grandparents turns into a lesson in the fluidity of time for Polly O'Keefe when she meets several strangers from overlapping temporal planes and, with them, plays a key role in a prehistoric confrontation.


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A flash of lightning, quivering ground, and, instead of her grandparents' farm, Poly sees mist and jagged mountains - and coming toward her, a group of young men carrying spears. Why has a time gate opened and dropped Polly into a world that existed 3,000 years ago? Will she be able to get back to the present before the time gate closes - and leaves her to face a group of p A flash of lightning, quivering ground, and, instead of her grandparents' farm, Poly sees mist and jagged mountains - and coming toward her, a group of young men carrying spears. Why has a time gate opened and dropped Polly into a world that existed 3,000 years ago? Will she be able to get back to the present before the time gate closes - and leaves her to face a group of people who believe in human sacrifice? A quiet visit with her grandparents turns into a lesson in the fluidity of time for Polly O'Keefe when she meets several strangers from overlapping temporal planes and, with them, plays a key role in a prehistoric confrontation.

30 review for An Acceptable Time

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Leon

    Imagine for just a moment that you're the parent of a teenage girl, a very smart teenage girl who is not getting the kind of education she needs at her high school. You decide to send your daughter off to spend some time studying with your parents who happen to be genius scientists. Now... Imagine a boy, a boy you don't know from Adam, shows up at your house wanting to see your daughter. A boy, a college boy, mind you, who says he has just driven from one coast to the other for the sole purpose Imagine for just a moment that you're the parent of a teenage girl, a very smart teenage girl who is not getting the kind of education she needs at her high school. You decide to send your daughter off to spend some time studying with your parents who happen to be genius scientists. Now... Imagine a boy, a boy you don't know from Adam, shows up at your house wanting to see your daughter. A boy, a college boy, mind you, who says he has just driven from one coast to the other for the sole purpose of seeing your daughter. Your teenage daughter who is in high school. How do you respond? Let me tell you how you don't respond. You don't tell the boy where your daughter is and give him directions to get there without consulting your parents or your daughter. You do not NOT check to see if your daughter even knows this boy. You do not assume the boy is telling the truth that he met her when she was on a school trip to Greece as she was passing through Athens on the way to her actual destination. And, actually, we don't even know if the boy, Zachary Gray, told Polly's parents any of that. All we know is that he showed up at her grandparents' house without any kind of verification or warning that he was coming after being sent ahead by Polly's parents. Now, imagine for just a moment that you have a teenage granddaughter who is staying with you. A boy shows up at your house who says he was sent there by your daughter and that he knows your granddaughter and would like to see her. Do you tell him where in the woods she is likely to end up from the walk she is on and send him out to wait for her? Do you not call your daughter to verify this boy's story? Of course, if you were to call your daughter (although you would find that, yes, she did send him there) you would find she has no idea from Adam who he is. I have an almost teenage daughter and this whole scenario in An Acceptable Time deeply disturbed me. That no one bothered to verify with Polly that she knew this boy was completely insane. I don't know; maybe there are people out there who are that naive (other than L'Engle, I mean), but I've never known any of them. It was not a circumstance I could accept as even being remotely realistic, so the book plunged off the Cliff of Belief and Acceptance almost before the first chapter even got going. Then, it got bashed around on the rocks down below as I made my way through the book, before finally drowning and sinking to bottom of the Sea of Disbelief. So Polly has this time slippage event where she's out on a walk and ends up a few thousand years in the past. She's only there for a few pages in the book before she ends up back in her own time. She tells her grandparents about it which results in more than half of the book dealing with conversations over food about how they don't believe that it happened. This might be okay except that her grandfather has been to other planets and experienced time travel. There is no rational, acceptable reason for her grandparents to spend so long clinging to the belief that she imagined it and that if they just pretend nothing happened then nothing else will happen. And they spend 200 pages doing that. The same conversation over and over about how they don't believe it. Still, that's not even the most annoying thing about the book. Evidently, for all of L'Engle's "science" in this series, she was one of those people who believe that the Earth is only 5000 years old. Polly (supposedly) has gone 3000 years into the past, and she keeps noticing how young the mountains look. How tall and jagged and un-eroded, because in her own time those mountains have been worn down (by just the wind and rain, mind you) into hills. Maybe L'Engle missed that part of geology where you learn that that kind of erosion takes hundreds of millions of years... well, to actually get down to the point where a mountain has been eroded from a mountain to something that is just a hill would probably take billions of years at least. And L'Engle mentions the ice age and talks a lot about glacial rocks, but it's really unclear when this age she talks about is supposed to have happened. Basically, L'Engle mixes in just enough science talk to fool kids into believe her books know something about science but, at best, her mumbo jumbo is pseudoscience and, at worst, it's all a part of her "all you need is love" philosophy, which, again, is what saves the day at the end of this book. Not anything the protagonist does because, mostly, what she does is hangs out waiting to be sacrificed and hoping someone will save her. In fact, the only action Polly takes to get herself out of the mess she is in, she undoes. On purpose! And, then, goes back to waiting to be rescued. And I haven't even talked about the part when the young man she's infatuated with says right in front of her that he intends to sacrifice her so that the Mother will send rain and, instead of being freaked out and trying to get away from him, she starts trying to convince herself that he would really never do that. I'm sorry, but that's messed up and a horrible message to send to young girls. My final analysis is that this series is, well, horrible. I would never recommend them to anyone and am sorry that I ever did. I'm glad that I re-read Wrinkle and went on to read the rest just so that I will no longer recommend anything by L'Engle to any of my students. And, while I can understand a liking for Wrinkle, I honestly don't understand how anyone can like Many Waters or An Acceptable Time. I can barely make allowances for A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet and that's only because she uses the same characters as from Wrinkle and there's a flying horse.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

    Okay, so how many times have I read the four books that proceeds this and still managed to be completely unaware of the existence of this one? Picked from my sister's bookshelf and devoured over a quick excursion home for Christmas, I could never quite shake the feeling that this was a bit of a step down from the other four. Polly just isn't nearly as compelling a character as her mother or her uncles (though she does grow on you), Alex could very well be L'Engle's most relentlessly tiresome cre Okay, so how many times have I read the four books that proceeds this and still managed to be completely unaware of the existence of this one? Picked from my sister's bookshelf and devoured over a quick excursion home for Christmas, I could never quite shake the feeling that this was a bit of a step down from the other four. Polly just isn't nearly as compelling a character as her mother or her uncles (though she does grow on you), Alex could very well be L'Engle's most relentlessly tiresome creation and the alternate world stumbled into isn't quite as vivid as her others, but after a few chapters in I could hardly put it down (which is rather inconvenient when there are family gatherings to attend). And there is something deeply satisfying about circularities of time and connections between all things, especially around Christmastime. "What has happened here, in this time, may have some effect we do not know and cannot even suspect, here in my time, or perhaps in yours. Let us not try to understand the pattern, but rejoice in its beauty."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stefany

    In An Acceptable Time, Polly is alright as a character but I kind of felt like I was missing half the story (that might be because this book takes place after three other books that aren’t considered part of the quintet) and sometimes her response to some of the events seemed flimsy and came with little to no explanation. Maybe if I read the other novels that come before this one chronologically I’d connect more with Polly, but that’s what I thought about Meg and after the first book you don’t g In An Acceptable Time, Polly is alright as a character but I kind of felt like I was missing half the story (that might be because this book takes place after three other books that aren’t considered part of the quintet) and sometimes her response to some of the events seemed flimsy and came with little to no explanation. Maybe if I read the other novels that come before this one chronologically I’d connect more with Polly, but that’s what I thought about Meg and after the first book you don’t get much characterization of her, except for the snapshots you get of her in A Swiftly Tilting Planet. One of the things that I liked least about this last book was that the reactions of all the characters seemed off. Polly’s grandparents bothered me the most because they seemed so disbelieving of everything that Polly was saying, but in the first book Mr. Murray not only travels in time but to another planet as well. Why would he be so disbelieving of what Polly and the Bishop are saying if he has experienced something like this before. Another character I really disliked was Zachary, but I get that you were supposed do dislike him at first, but as the story progressed I was never empathetic to his struggles. I thought that if I had a little more information on Zachary and some of his justifications for what he did, but we didn’t, so I just ended up hating him.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    The last book of this series was such a disappointment. An Acceptable Time is about Polly’s adventure into the prehistory of the druids. She gets mesmerized by a guy who is like no other while out on a study break. She, of course, crossed the time gate into the past. Polly and her best friend Zachary are on this silly adventure. Now throughout this story, I was bored. Like really really bored. Everything was predictable and unoriginal. Again, I was really bored. I think this might my least favor The last book of this series was such a disappointment. An Acceptable Time is about Polly’s adventure into the prehistory of the druids. She gets mesmerized by a guy who is like no other while out on a study break. She, of course, crossed the time gate into the past. Polly and her best friend Zachary are on this silly adventure. Now throughout this story, I was bored. Like really really bored. Everything was predictable and unoriginal. Again, I was really bored. I think this might my least favorite book out of the series. Overall, I’m glad that the series is over and I can finally move on with my life. I really enjoyed the first book but ever since then .. I’m just like.. I’m done. I give up. I just went along with everything weird and unrealistic happening throughout this series. I’m done. Goodbye series!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    My ‘experiment’ of reading the rest of the books in L’Engle’s “Time” series that I hadn’t read as a child (that is, all of them except A Wrinkle in Time) has come to an end. I’d wanted to see how they compared to the first book. While they all have merit—L’Engle is a consummate story teller—none came close to the first, at least not for me. Whether that’s because I read and loved the first one as a child, I’ll never know. I feel the biggest reason the other books are not as good as Wrinkle is tha My ‘experiment’ of reading the rest of the books in L’Engle’s “Time” series that I hadn’t read as a child (that is, all of them except A Wrinkle in Time) has come to an end. I’d wanted to see how they compared to the first book. While they all have merit—L’Engle is a consummate story teller—none came close to the first, at least not for me. Whether that’s because I read and loved the first one as a child, I’ll never know. I feel the biggest reason the other books are not as good as Wrinkle is that there’s no main character like the young flawed Meg in the others. In this book especially Polly seems perfect, so she’s not as real as her mother as a child was. I had issues with the book before this one, A House Like a Lotus, yet there I found Polly more interesting than here. Then her struggles were mostly internal; here her struggles arise from the fantastical plot, not from her character: yes, she has to deal with Zachary again, but she’s not fighting within herself as she was before. That may be an attempt to show Polly’s growth, but I don’t think that’s what L’Engle intended by throwing the two of them together again. I read this novel (along with its respective endnotes) in this edition: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    This book was just okay. Maybe I'm a bit meh about Christian fantasy/sf in general, or specifically, but I did enjoy the moments of particle physics and the apologia for all things Jesus. (Sure, time travel is fine because even though you're going back a thousand years before the time of Christ, his spirit is eternal, etc., etc.) MAYBE I would have liked this a lot more if it hadn't been super-primitive societies performing ritual sacrifice and we're supposed to go back and civilize the bastards. This book was just okay. Maybe I'm a bit meh about Christian fantasy/sf in general, or specifically, but I did enjoy the moments of particle physics and the apologia for all things Jesus. (Sure, time travel is fine because even though you're going back a thousand years before the time of Christ, his spirit is eternal, etc., etc.) MAYBE I would have liked this a lot more if it hadn't been super-primitive societies performing ritual sacrifice and we're supposed to go back and civilize the bastards. Or something like that. Hmmm. Well, I do like certain ASPECTS of this. Like any time period that is ours. That's pretty cool. But when what should have been the cool bit, like TIME TRAVEL, something between my shoulder-blades started itching and I just wanted to be through this. I'm afraid that it didn't age all that well. Which is a shame, because I used to love the rough-and-tumble mix of science and religion in the previous books. I think it is a case of, "I've changed, you haven't. Sorry, L'Engle."

  7. 5 out of 5

    David

    An Acceptable Time does have a good message. It teaches truth in that integrated, mostly-subtle way that good books should, and in this is similar to the other books in the "Time" "Series." (If, indeed, a series it really can be called...) The difference is that this book is boring. Yes, it continues the story of the Murry clan, and yes, it involves druids and blood sacrifice and time travel, (in a way quite parallel to A Swiftly Tilting Planet) and yes, it does eventually get around to a nice s An Acceptable Time does have a good message. It teaches truth in that integrated, mostly-subtle way that good books should, and in this is similar to the other books in the "Time" "Series." (If, indeed, a series it really can be called...) The difference is that this book is boring. Yes, it continues the story of the Murry clan, and yes, it involves druids and blood sacrifice and time travel, (in a way quite parallel to A Swiftly Tilting Planet) and yes, it does eventually get around to a nice satisfying moral. But. Plot holes abound. The dialogue is confusing and repetitive, when it's not inane. If it had been condensed to about half the length, with serious dialogue editing, it might have worked. Read it because you love Madeleine L'Engle and the Murry clan, but not because you expect it to be as good as A Wrinkle In Time. It's not.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is a *mess*. Where to begin...... Okay, first Polly O'Keefe goes to live with her grandparents, and Zachary Grey *blech* keeps stopping by, and of course there's a rift in the space-time continuum, but her grandparents, whom you thought you knew so well from other books, have trouble believing such things could be happening...... what? Did L'Engle forget that Alex Murry himself went through a tesseract to Camazotz???? Most of this book consists of the adults worrying about what *might* happ This is a *mess*. Where to begin...... Okay, first Polly O'Keefe goes to live with her grandparents, and Zachary Grey *blech* keeps stopping by, and of course there's a rift in the space-time continuum, but her grandparents, whom you thought you knew so well from other books, have trouble believing such things could be happening...... what? Did L'Engle forget that Alex Murry himself went through a tesseract to Camazotz???? Most of this book consists of the adults worrying about what *might* happen and lots of boring foreshadowing. By the time Polly goes back and gets trapped, I couldn't stand it and skipped ahead - the usual peaceful people versus the warlike people thing. They think Polly's a goddess because of her red hair. Zach *wants* to stay in the past because he thinks he'll have better luck curing/fixing his heart condition in a distant, pre-scientific past (yes, because people *never* died of stuff like that before modern medicine came along). Of course, Zach almost commits the ultimate betrayal, which is then easily fixed *and* everyone forgives him *poof*...... Ugh. It's getting harder and harder to work my way through the L'Engle canon. I think I'm glad I'm almost done with it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Still one of my L'Engle favorites. I like a good dose of time travel & a little potential romance. I love the idea of going for a swim in your grandparents' indoor pool (what!?) and slipping into the past effortlessly. I love the odd life of privilege all these Murry/O'Keefe family members live. In some ways, reading these books again has been somewhat of a disappointment. I can see through them a little better than I could as a teen. I recognize I like the ones with a touch of romance bette Still one of my L'Engle favorites. I like a good dose of time travel & a little potential romance. I love the idea of going for a swim in your grandparents' indoor pool (what!?) and slipping into the past effortlessly. I love the odd life of privilege all these Murry/O'Keefe family members live. In some ways, reading these books again has been somewhat of a disappointment. I can see through them a little better than I could as a teen. I recognize I like the ones with a touch of romance better than the ones without it. I see the little plot holes & convenient coincidences that I missed last time. They seemed flawless at the time. A few decades later (and after reading more of her biography in Becoming Madeleine: A Biography of the Author of a Wrinkle in Time by Her Granddaughters and A Light So Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L'Engle, Author of A Wrinkle in Time), L'Engle's books seem more human. They're not perfect. And yet. I've said it before; I'll say it again: L'Engle opened up this space where science and language and religion and philosophy could all interact with one another. Who can say how much of my appetite for learning and reading was formed by her fictional worlds? I want to know as much about classical music as I do about poetry as I do about the history of my own backyard. I want to live the life of a L'Engle protagonist--oddly out of place here and now, but peculiarly gifted for another time and place. I've stopped asking my books to BE perfect. I've come to expect that each book will add a little something to be remembered by, but I don't expect any book to be the last book I will ever need to read. Thank Goodness.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Els

    *gasps in relief* That went so much better than I expected it to. Still not sure whether it should be three or four stars... probably three stars... but we'll give it 3.5 in my post-Many Waters relief. Towards the end I caught the same strains that pulsed through A Wrinkle in Time, and, to a lesser degree, A Wind in the Door, that got lost in the other books - the same song that echoes in a Greater Story. But... ZACHARY IS (view spoiler)[ ABSOLUTELY AWFUL. BEYOND AWFUL. UGH. But if it wasn't for h *gasps in relief* That went so much better than I expected it to. Still not sure whether it should be three or four stars... probably three stars... but we'll give it 3.5 in my post-Many Waters relief. Towards the end I caught the same strains that pulsed through A Wrinkle in Time, and, to a lesser degree, A Wind in the Door, that got lost in the other books - the same song that echoes in a Greater Story. But... ZACHARY IS (view spoiler)[ ABSOLUTELY AWFUL. BEYOND AWFUL. UGH. But if it wasn't for his redemption arc and the redemption arcs he forced the others into, I might not have felt the Song. (hide spoiler)] AND TAV (view spoiler)[ ..is that his name? How have I already forgotten his name? ... ANYWAY, I thought he was jerk but turns out he's a misguided cinnamon roll WHY CAN'T POL-EE STAAAYY? So. (hide spoiler)] Stupid love triangles.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    This was an okay story, but it seemed like the Murrys had changed? They get all upset and protective about Polly and this time gate thing, and they don't believe her or Bishop at first. Like your kids did weirder things than this and you were fine with it! Is it because it's not Meg or Charles Wallace this time??? I was so confused by their attitude. Then there's Zach, apparently Polly meets him in some other book but I didn't have time to read it and it really didn't seem that necessary. Zach w This was an okay story, but it seemed like the Murrys had changed? They get all upset and protective about Polly and this time gate thing, and they don't believe her or Bishop at first. Like your kids did weirder things than this and you were fine with it! Is it because it's not Meg or Charles Wallace this time??? I was so confused by their attitude. Then there's Zach, apparently Polly meets him in some other book but I didn't have time to read it and it really didn't seem that necessary. Zach was weird and I didn't trust him because when introduced he acts like Polly's boyfriend and she doesn't want that shit. Plus later he says something along the lines of "I don't know how to not hurt you Polly" and queue major eye rolling. When all was said and done I was not a fan of Zach. Polly on the other hand, she was okay, I didn't like her as much as Meg, but I liked her as a main character. This book felt kind of stretched out compared to the others. I think the first book was the best out of the series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Krissy

    4.5 🌟 An Acceptable Time is the final book in the Wrinkle in Time series. This was my second favorite book of the series just behind A Swiftly Tilting Planet. There were vivid images of perfect fall days filled with family and comfort food. The plot tackled themes of time travel, honor, love, war, and religion. At times the story was slow moving, but was still a great escape filled with thought provoking scenes.

  13. 5 out of 5

    John

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. In keeping with my habit of reading novel series in the wrong order (see Margaret J. Anderson, passim), I've just followed my reading of the first volume in L'Engle's Time Quintet with a reading of the fifth. Next up is likely (for arcane reasons) to be the fourth . . . Teenaged Polly O'Keefe, eldest child of Calvin and Meg from A Wrinkle in Time, is staying with her genius-scientist Murry grandparents in order to get some studying done away from the sibling horde at home. One day Zachary Gray, w In keeping with my habit of reading novel series in the wrong order (see Margaret J. Anderson, passim), I've just followed my reading of the first volume in L'Engle's Time Quintet with a reading of the fifth. Next up is likely (for arcane reasons) to be the fourth . . . Teenaged Polly O'Keefe, eldest child of Calvin and Meg from A Wrinkle in Time, is staying with her genius-scientist Murry grandparents in order to get some studying done away from the sibling horde at home. One day Zachary Gray, whom she met briefly while bumming around Europe the previous summer, turns up at the isolated house; he has romance in mind, though constrained in his ambitions by the fact that he's been diagnosed with a weak heart and not given long to go. Together they see a mysterious man with a mysterious dog; returning to the house, they admire a 3000-year-old stone carved with Ogam lines that a family friend, Bishop Nason Colubra, has brought to show Polly's grandparents. Later, when Polly is having a swim, a mysterious girl appears, Anaral, indicating that she is from a far-distant past -- the time of Bishop Colubra's stone. Next day, when Polly is out walking, there's a rumble of the earth and a trembling of the air and she finds herself transported back to Anaral's time. (Among the reasons she knows she's in the past is that the local mountains aren't their rounded placid selves but are all jagged and new-looking. I'd have said a mere 3000 years' erosion wouldn't have made much visible difference to a mountain, but there you go.) Polly's first trip into the past doesn't last long. Back home, she and her parents talk a lot about the nature of time and of religion, together with the bishop and his sister. It emerges that the bishop knows a lot more about the opening up of the timegate between now and then than he's been letting on; it's because he's been bopping back there regularly that several of the People of the Wind, as Anaral's tribe are called, can speak fluent English. Polly, an astonishing linguist (and, as we later discover, an Olympic-standard swimmer), promptly teaches herself Ogam -- a neat trick if you can do it. Zachary, hearing about what's been going on, insists on dragging her back to the past era, in the hope that, since modern medical science has shown itself incapable of curing his heart condition, perhaps a prehistoric shaman might have better luck. (I must confess I stared at the page in disbelief when this bit of plotting Bandaid was introduced.) This time, though, Polly and Zachary -- and the bishop, who's made the transition independently -- find that they can't get home to their own time so easily: the timegate is closed. Further, all is not well with the People of the Wind. The rascally People Across the Lake, who've been suffering a drought, have been raiding for crops and cattle. Because Polly has a mop of red hair and because she appears to have been befriended by a snake, both lots of People tend to think she's a goddess -- and there's a general inclination to sacrifice her to the Mother to either (a) stop the raids or (b) bring rain. Zachary, whose whingeing has by now reached epic proportions, betrays Polly to the People Across the Lake in the hope that their healer will cure his heart condition in return for the tribe being allowed to blood-sacrifice her. The relationship between them will never be quite the same again. Needless to say, after many a conniption, Polly escapes being forced to perform a propitiatiory function, the two Peoples sort out their differences thanks to her ministrations, the time travellers get home, the news is broken to Zachary that, under the circumstances, rather than anticipating a bright romantic future with Polly, he might be better advised to stick his head in a location inconvenient to describe, and -- this being a L'Engle book -- a whole lot of devoutery is spouted. In fact, I found the devoutery in this book, while there's quite a lot of it (the very title is from Psalms: "Lord, I make my prayer to you in an acceptable time"), far less oppressive than in A Wrinkle in Time. I think this is probably because it seems to appear just as a natural part of the plot (and with one of the characters a bishop, it's to be expected); in the earlier book, there were instances where the religiosity seemed just to have been jammed in gratuitously while, elsewhere, there was a suspicion that perhaps the whole purpose of the book was to push a religious agenda. Further, in An Acceptable Time, the tone of the religiosity is much altered: it seems far more ecumenical and indeed liberal: there's no attempt to force the People of the Wind to abandon their reverence for the Mother and take up worship of the as-yet-unborn Christ instead. And there are some direct challenges to the faux-Christian right: "The idea of blood sacrifice is gone from our frame of reference, but it's not that much different or worse than things that go on today. What else is the electric chair or lethal injection than human sacrifice?"     "We're told that it's to protect society," Polly said.     "Isn't Tav trying to protect his society in the only way he knows how? [. . .:]" (p183) All in all, although this is a much longer book than A Wrinkle in Time, and although some of the plot's mechanics creaked near-deafeningly, I found it by far the more readable of the two books. I am less apprehensive about reading the other books in the series than I was.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amy Neftzger

    This was an interesting conclusion to madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time series. The story continues with the Murry's granddaughter traveling through time to meet with individuals struggling for survival in the New World. The book is well written and continues to explore many philosophical and ethical themes, just as all the previous books in the series have done. If I had to rate this series of all books as a unit I would rate it higher than I rated the individual books because I loved the wa This was an interesting conclusion to madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time series. The story continues with the Murry's granddaughter traveling through time to meet with individuals struggling for survival in the New World. The book is well written and continues to explore many philosophical and ethical themes, just as all the previous books in the series have done. If I had to rate this series of all books as a unit I would rate it higher than I rated the individual books because I loved the way the author handled different issues and the way the the books fit together. She writes with great creativity and incredible insight into human nature. If you haven't read anything by Madeleine L'Engle you might want to check out some of her books. Reading these has been a wonderful adventure for me that I've really enjoyed.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Bywaters

    ‘An Acceptable Time’ is the last book in the series and even though I am happy I’ve read them, I’m also happy there are not any more. In this book we again are taken on a journey back in time, about 3,000 years, to spend time with a native tribe called ‘People of the Wind’. Charles Wallace visited the ‘People of the Wind’ back in ‘A Swiftly Tilting Planet’; in this book Polly (Meg and Calvin’s daughter) is the one that goes back in time. It’s a cute story but it doesn’t really seem to go anywher ‘An Acceptable Time’ is the last book in the series and even though I am happy I’ve read them, I’m also happy there are not any more. In this book we again are taken on a journey back in time, about 3,000 years, to spend time with a native tribe called ‘People of the Wind’. Charles Wallace visited the ‘People of the Wind’ back in ‘A Swiftly Tilting Planet’; in this book Polly (Meg and Calvin’s daughter) is the one that goes back in time. It’s a cute story but it doesn’t really seem to go anywhere. In the first four books in the series, L’Engle has had a point she wanted to get across, some grand statement. In this book it feels like she is trying to reconcile Druidry with Christianity. If I were to allow myself to speculate I would probably say she has some newfound interest in Druidry and wants it to be compatible with her long-standing Christian beliefs. However, to do this it would appear she is trying to reshape it to fit her ideals. For example, in the book a young druid casts runes and the bishop in the story proclaims “…these are not fortune-telling stones?” Then the Druid replies “No, No…The stones do not tell us what is going to happen, or what we are to do…” Now, I’m by no means a 3,000-year-old Druid but from what I’ve read Druids were known for their gift of prophecy. But hey, who am I to judge. I am a little confused as to how this book is really part of the series – other than the fact that they have some of the same characters. In the first three books it’s all about the fight against the Echthroi. I thought ‘Many Waters’ was just a little fun side story and that we would be returning to this theme in ‘An Acceptable Time’ but that didn’t happen and the Echthroi were not even mentioned. Just when I was starting to get onboard with the whole idea of shadow creatures taking over the universe! On the whole not bad, however there are about 100 pages that can probably be skipped – its just 100 pages of Polly and the Bishop trying to convince her grandparents that they really are going back in time. It isn’t a great grand finale to the series but rather a cute story that can be read just on its own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Madeline O'Rourke

    An Acceptable Time: it only took until the last book in the series, but I actually really liked this one. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's still coloured with L'Engle's weird brand of things. Particularly her weird approach to romantic and sexual relationships. But, things were better this time around. Primarily because Polly was aware of how awful Zachary was, and straight up just stopped interacting with him. I also feel like it didn't suffer from the weird colonial tones of A Swiftly Tilting P An Acceptable Time: it only took until the last book in the series, but I actually really liked this one. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's still coloured with L'Engle's weird brand of things. Particularly her weird approach to romantic and sexual relationships. But, things were better this time around. Primarily because Polly was aware of how awful Zachary was, and straight up just stopped interacting with him. I also feel like it didn't suffer from the weird colonial tones of A Swiftly Tilting Planet. Another really neat change: as opposed to the super religious construction of Many Waters, L'Engle made the dynamics of religion much more interesting in this novel. Certainly, there were religious characters, but there were also characters that weren't religious. There were characters that weren't Christian. And even amongst the Christian characters, there was variety and nuance in their beliefs, which made for an interesting read. As for the rest of the plot, it was a slow start. The first half was mostly just the characters talking about this door to the past, but the second half? The second half saw them stuck in the past and it was fun and fast-paced and somehow both similar to the previous instalments and better than the previous instalments. I liked the characters, I liked their dynamics, and their interactions, and the one romance that properly came about. There are definitely some less believable elements (like the ease with which Polly learned to speak with people from 3000 years ago), but overall, they were things I was happy to look past. So who knows, maybe I just liked this because I went in with such incredibly low expectations. And I certainly still don't recommend the series. But, to give credit where it is due, An Acceptable Time finished the series on a higher note for me, for which I am glad.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Shropshire

    3.75 stars. First of all, let me get my complaints out of the way. I'm not an expert in ancient history, but I'm pretty sure Ms. L'Engle got some of the history wrong. Likewise I'm no geologist, but I know that it takes more than 3000 years for "tall mountains" to erode down to "ancient hills." One other thing that really bugged me, not just in this book, but the entire series, is that the recurring characters seemingly have no recollections of the events in previous books. For example, in this b 3.75 stars. First of all, let me get my complaints out of the way. I'm not an expert in ancient history, but I'm pretty sure Ms. L'Engle got some of the history wrong. Likewise I'm no geologist, but I know that it takes more than 3000 years for "tall mountains" to erode down to "ancient hills." One other thing that really bugged me, not just in this book, but the entire series, is that the recurring characters seemingly have no recollections of the events in previous books. For example, in this book, the Drs. Murry continue to be disbelieving about the time gate that Bishop Colubra and Polly have been entering. Why? Time travel, via unicorn(!), was a big part of the plots in A Swiftly Tilting Planet and Many Waters. And Polly's grandfather himself tessered to another galaxy in A Wrinkle in Time, with Mrs. Whosit & co. who were definitely not human, so it seems really inconsistent - and unnecessary! - for them to maintain such skepticism. That said, however, I very much enjoyed the story in this one and am willing to overlook the inaccuracies and inconsistencies. There is a lot more supernatural and theological stuff in this book than in the other books since AWIT. Polly O'Keefe, daughter of Calvin and Meg, has come to live with her grandparents for some tutoring; she isn't being challenged in her normal high school. Soon after the story begins, she is contacted by a young man, Zachary, that she met on a prior trip to Greece. Zachary is a law intern at a nearby office and wants to see her. It soon becomes obvious that Zachary is ill, and he tells Polly that he has an untreatable heart condition and isn't expected to live very long. Polly is walking in the woods one day and sees a strangely-dressed guy with a dog. Later, while swimming in her grandparents' pool, Polly sees a young woman dressed in leather clothing with dark braided hair who appears to be a Native Anerican. These two people, Karralys and Anaral, are from the past; they are members of the tribe known as People of the Wind (mentioned in ASTP), trained as druids, with the ability to move between "time circles.". On a walk to the star-watching rock, Polly finds herself in the past with the PotW. Karralys and Anaral tell Polly that she is "part of the pattern." They are in a drought and there have been raids by their traditional enemy they call the People Across the Lake. Dr. Louise Colubra's brother, a retired Episcopal bishop, is living with Dr. Louise. He and Louise are present when Polly tells he grandparents about her experience. The bishop confesses to Polly and the Murrys that he thinks that several months earlier, he inadvertently opened a time gate to the past and that Polly appears to have been "caught" inside a tesseract. Louise the Larger, the snake who lives in the stone wall by the vegetable garden, also plays an important part in this book. Another important character is a dog who appears at the Murry house one evening, just as Ananda did in ASTP. Polly names him Ogam, the written language of the People of the Wind, because he was sent to them by Karralys to be a companion and protector for Polly. She calls him Og for short. The theme of AAT is love and sacrifice. There are many layers involved, between Polly and Zachary; between Polly and the People of the Wind; between the PotW and the People Across the Lake. The following quote by Dr. Louise sums up this theme: 'I'm a doctor, Polly, not a theologian, and lots of Christian dogma seems to me no more than barnacles encrusting a great rock. I don't think that God demanded that Jesus shed blood unwillingly. With anguish, yes, but with love. Whatever we give, we have to give out of love. That, I believe, is the nature of God.' Zachary is the archetypal villain; his besetting sin is selfishness (as it is for many of us). When he is forced to confront the fact that Polly was almost killed as a result of his actions, he is overwhelmed by debilitating guilt. 'Zachary.' The bishop spoke softly but compellingly. 'William Langland, writing around 1400, said, "And all the wickedness in the world that man might work or think is no more to the mercy of God than a live coal in the sea."' (What amazing imagery!) Instead of being punished for his actions, Zachary is "healed," both of his physical condition and his mental/spiritual selfishness and guilt. In theological terms, he is "redeemed" (even though he continues to declare he doesn't believe in God.) Polly forgives him and plays a part in his "healing" but refuses to see him further, and rightfully so. Polly could have possibly been fleshed out a bit more, but I understand from other reviewers that the books in the O'Keefe series give more info about her. I plan to read those sometime. So, in summary, this is not my favorite book of the series, but I liked it a lot.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rpaul Tho

    Wow. What a difference this book was from the fourth. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and couldn’t put it down. The story ran much more smoothly than the last and the characters were interesting and well written. The usual religious overt tones were present but at least this time they were mixed in with the sort rather than preachy.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kam Gardner

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'm not even sure where to start with this book. While I enjoyed the rest of this series for the most part, this book left me baffled with how bad it was. I might not have minded so much if the characters hadn't been so bad and everything so contradictory. *Zach gives Polly a statue of a saint and sees her still carrying it* Zach: you have my icon so you care about me so I'm totally justified in kidnapping you. Uhhh... what? *Polly falls for warrior who wants to sacrifice her* Polly: I really wan I'm not even sure where to start with this book. While I enjoyed the rest of this series for the most part, this book left me baffled with how bad it was. I might not have minded so much if the characters hadn't been so bad and everything so contradictory. *Zach gives Polly a statue of a saint and sees her still carrying it* Zach: you have my icon so you care about me so I'm totally justified in kidnapping you. Uhhh... what? *Polly falls for warrior who wants to sacrifice her* Polly: I really wanna see Tav again even though he wants to sacrifice me to the gods cause he's like totally cute. I'm sure he doesn't really wanna sacrifice me. ....okay? *throughout the book we're told love solves everything and you should always choose love* Polly: I never wanna think of Zach again. He can lay in the road and die. Bishop: You can forget about him now if you want. He did something bad so we're justified in letting him die-wait. *Tav wants to sacrifice Polly to end the drought* Tav: Zach is not worth a single hair on Polly's head cause he wanted to sacrifice her! ...what is going on? *Polly and her parents believe she isn't getting a good education at school so they pull her out and send her to her grandparents for schooling* Mrs. Murry: We'll spend 5 minutes discussing science-y stuff, then you can go off with this boy that drove across the country to see you that we've known for 2 minutes. Huh? *Mr. Murry visited other planets/time travel in the first book* Mr. Murry: We don't believe for one second that you experienced time travel! You're delusional! Oh for the love. And somebody probably should have told L'Engle if she wanted to put science in her book she should have made it all correct. The erosion she was describing would have taken 30 million years, not 3 thousand.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This book gets a big ol' meh. This book was certainly better than a wind in the door and a swiftly tilting planet. However, it wasn't great. I found the plot moved pretty slowly in some places, and while it did pick up in others I found that it focused in on some odd subjects points. I found Zachary particularly unlikeable...like more unlikeable than any unlikeable character should be. I didn't find the Bishop to be particularly engaging. However, unlike many of the reviews have said I found Pol This book gets a big ol' meh. This book was certainly better than a wind in the door and a swiftly tilting planet. However, it wasn't great. I found the plot moved pretty slowly in some places, and while it did pick up in others I found that it focused in on some odd subjects points. I found Zachary particularly unlikeable...like more unlikeable than any unlikeable character should be. I didn't find the Bishop to be particularly engaging. However, unlike many of the reviews have said I found Polly to be exceedingly engaging and was one of the few things that kept this book in the 'meh' category as opposed to the 'ugh' category. She was smart and caring and moral without being preachy. We got the feeling that she didn't have good self-esteem, however we were not beaten over the head with the information like we were with Meg. I did quite enjoy that the series ended with this book. While there were characters and relationships that we missed out on, it was a nice feeling that we came full circle with the series covering three generations of Murrys. What I didn't like was how stuck in their ways and angry the Murry parents and Dr. Colubra got when faced with the idea of the time door. I did get the feeling that at least Mr. Murry took it seriously, but it seemed simply to anger and confuse both Dr. Colubra and Mrs. Murry. Based on their characters in the previous books this is fairly out of character. On one hand I can understand the anger, they are worried for their granddaughter, however, they were much more forgiving with their own children. In a swiftly tilting planet they allowed Charles Wallace to sit out all night in the middle of a storm, but when faced with Polly's situation, they would hardly let her out of the house.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    04/11/2018-04/14/18 My second favorite book in the series! I loved the ammount of time spent around the Murry's dining room table and the way all the years that had gone by brought perspective and the quietness of old age to this story. Polly found a simple peace there, away from the cacophony of her large family and so did I as I read along. Meeting Zachary again (I've read about him in AROEL and TAOTS) in this book was fun. He always brings a moodiness and an opportunity to learn some deep trut 04/11/2018-04/14/18 My second favorite book in the series! I loved the ammount of time spent around the Murry's dining room table and the way all the years that had gone by brought perspective and the quietness of old age to this story. Polly found a simple peace there, away from the cacophony of her large family and so did I as I read along. Meeting Zachary again (I've read about him in AROEL and TAOTS) in this book was fun. He always brings a moodiness and an opportunity to learn some deep truths along with him. In this book, the theme we went over again and again was the place of love in the universe. Not "romantic", but rather the unconditional, true love that motivates and is a manifestation of GOODNESS. Zachary foesnt believe in God and doesn't walk with him and so... that love is foreign to him. Both in practice and experience. Time travel gives readers the chance to see that truth is truth. That life isn't just here and now and that details DO matter. Everything has a purpose and that purpose stretches out behind us and before us. L'Engle knew that and her books help readers to be sure of it right along wih her.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    “Truth is eternal. Knowledge is changeable. It is disastrous to confuse them.” ― Madeleine L'Engle, An Acceptable Time This is such an interesting series, each book is very loosely connected to the others -- but this one is such a complete disconnect. The plot seems to be a poor imitation of "A Swiftly Tilting Planet"; the characters don't seem to make sense, esp. the McMurrys who have been part of the previous stories but seem oblivious and unbelievable in this one. Polly is a weak central chara “Truth is eternal. Knowledge is changeable. It is disastrous to confuse them.” ― Madeleine L'Engle, An Acceptable Time This is such an interesting series, each book is very loosely connected to the others -- but this one is such a complete disconnect. The plot seems to be a poor imitation of "A Swiftly Tilting Planet"; the characters don't seem to make sense, esp. the McMurrys who have been part of the previous stories but seem oblivious and unbelievable in this one. Polly is a weak central character and the introduction of Zachary is just odd, especially since they keep referring to their previous acquaintance without really providing any real details. The first part of the final chapter was the only part of the book that had the same spark as the other books in the series and somewhat redeemed it for me -- at least enough for a 2 star rating.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christina N

    Rating: 3.5/5 stars I feel like this book just dragged on and on, to the point where I was really thinking about dnf-ing it. The characters were just mediocre. Zachary was super annoying of a character, though. He made me want to end the book even more. I guess the plot is okay... but Polly is just talking and doing nothing for way too many pages of the book. No, I DON'T need to hear her uninteresting conversations. Nope nope nope. (But I still like it. Don't get me wrong.)

  24. 4 out of 5

    GateGypsy

    It took me a long while to get through this. Not because of the book, just because of my life right now. In this book, Polly, the daughter of Meg (who had been the heroine of most of the other Time Quintet novels) has come to live with her grandparents. There she stumbles into a tesseract that links the property with the same place 3000 years in the past. (Charles Wallace visited that time with the Unicorn in A Swiftly Tilting Planet.) There were things about this story that I liked, and things I It took me a long while to get through this. Not because of the book, just because of my life right now. In this book, Polly, the daughter of Meg (who had been the heroine of most of the other Time Quintet novels) has come to live with her grandparents. There she stumbles into a tesseract that links the property with the same place 3000 years in the past. (Charles Wallace visited that time with the Unicorn in A Swiftly Tilting Planet.) There were things about this story that I liked, and things I didn't. I was really uncomfortable with how Zach kept trying to be overly affectionate (kissing, etc) with Polly, and she kept saying "no" but wasn't especially firm about it. (view spoiler)[I was glad when she finally showed some backbone about it and said clearly she didn't ever want to see him again, but it took some pretty extreme behaviour to get her there! (hide spoiler)] I liked that despite the stirrings of romance, the story ended without an epic kiss or any of the usual romance trappings. I'm a little lost as to the moral of this story so I think I will need to sit with it a little longer to pull it together.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    Finally finished. I'm so annoyed at how painstaking it was to read this book. Parts of it were still so, SO good, but it pales in comparison to literally every other book in the Murry/O'Keefe storyline. Oh, well. At least I never have to hear from Zachary again. But, my darling Murry/O'Keefe family, you who got me through the end of my senior year of high school: Thank you. My heart is already heavy with the lack of your stories, but I will certainly be back. Sorry it took me so long to get around Finally finished. I'm so annoyed at how painstaking it was to read this book. Parts of it were still so, SO good, but it pales in comparison to literally every other book in the Murry/O'Keefe storyline. Oh, well. At least I never have to hear from Zachary again. But, my darling Murry/O'Keefe family, you who got me through the end of my senior year of high school: Thank you. My heart is already heavy with the lack of your stories, but I will certainly be back. Sorry it took me so long to get around to you all, but hey, at least I made it! XO

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jessica L. Dwyer

    I really wanted to love this series, but unfortunately I got less into the books as they went along. L’Engle has some incredible concepts that she dives into...over and over again...and with a lot of unnecessary filler. In my opinion, the last four books in the series could have been condensed into two. There were some sweet moments in this book, but for the majority of the time I was mostly just bored.

  27. 5 out of 5

    N.T. Embe

    An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L'Engle, also known as, If You Thought It'd Be Less Racist in Book Five, You Were Desperately Mistaken, but Don't Worry, That Takes a Backseat to RAMPANT ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS This Time! Also, Did All My Old Mains Forget Their Own Canon or Is It Just the Same Old Hypocrisy I've Written Into My Past Three Books? (Do you really want to read to find out?) Alright, let's take a step back here after this absolute mess of a series. I said that I always enjoyed the fifth An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L'Engle, also known as, If You Thought It'd Be Less Racist in Book Five, You Were Desperately Mistaken, but Don't Worry, That Takes a Backseat to RAMPANT ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS This Time! Also, Did All My Old Mains Forget Their Own Canon or Is It Just the Same Old Hypocrisy I've Written Into My Past Three Books? (Do you really want to read to find out?) Alright, let's take a step back here after this absolute mess of a series. I said that I always enjoyed the fifth book the best out of the entire quintet, the first book being my other favorite, and honestly? I'll stand by that. Mind you, they both still have problems. RAMPANT problems. L'Engle has many, many bad qualities that she expresses loud and proud, and she probably would have been a lot better off never speaking of them in the first place. It only makes one really take a critical lens to this series as a whole and reveals how absolutely shoddy its entire composition is. That being said, I still think this book has some of the best character depth out of all five books. Mind you, that's because it's really the only character depth we get out of all five books, but it makes the entire experience of An Acceptable Time a lot more bearable. Characters aren't just a line on repeat like a broken record (Meg) or hypocrites incarnate (everyone in all the other books and a few in this one, Mr. and Mrs. Murry, Dr. Louise). Polly and Zachary and the Bishop actually feel like real people for once, like they have complexity and aren't cardboard cut-outs we're playing pretend with. People have PASTS to speak of, they've had experiences that have developed them as characters before we're ever introduced to them on the page, like Polly with the loss of her best friend and Zachary with his struggles with his illness, even Tynak and his tribe. The characters have MOTIVES for once, and aren't just being forced to do things because angels or other beings of power told them to. For once, it's characters interacting with each other and reacting to one another that we get to experience. It's basically a proper story for the first time! It might not be the wild, imaginative adventure of A Wrinkle in Time, but it has its concept and it takes its time to explore it. In fact, that's another reason I feel this book was far superior than the last three: we actually got a chance to wrap our heads around a single concept that L'Engle introduced and then gave us the chance to experience. And it wasn't overblown by so many characters you had trouble keeping people straight, or by concepts thrown left and right with "reasoning" and "explanations" pulled straight out of characters' rear ends to try to make the crap she pulled seem logical and methodically planned out (even a kid could point out the anomalies in the last three books; they barely deserve to be called stories for how badly they were thrown together). We got one concept: travelling through time because connections between people can cross Time and Space, especially at a particular time of year. And honestly that part was really well-paced for once. It didn't feel like, "Hey we're on another planet now; oops it's two dimensional! Hey people are dying now, guess we gotta hang out in some mitochondria and switch some babies and prevent nuclear war and bang some 'little people' because we just remembered we have dicks at age 15! By the way, Angel Tan Removal, jinkies!" Mind you, this doesn't mean there weren't problems that I'm about to address, because oh. Oh darlings. I don't think L'Engle knew how to not write problematic shit. But before we get into that, let's talk about Polly briefly. Polly is our main character... and she is hands down probably the smartest female character we meet in this entire series. And I don't mean that superficially intelligent manner like how EVERYONE ELSE L'ENGLE BOASTS ABOUT ALL THE TIME is. She's book-smart in her own ways, but she's got actual common sense for once. She isn't an absolute MORON. And it's such a shocking contrast to the rest of the books that it makes her seem like the biggest breath of fresh air. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated her as our main character. Her way of handling herself and her situations is cautious, usually thought-through previously, and sensitive and kind in a way that shows authentic compassion and empathy with those around her. She doesn't let attraction rule her or blind her, which is an absolute relief coming from books where Meg, Sandy, and Dennys are endlessly ruled by their collective sexes. Overall, really strong, really good character! So, you're gonna be thinking now: that means Polly's a good representation of a feminist character, right? ......yeah not quite. I think that's what's so disappointing to me. She doesn't fall for Zachary (the other main character)'s advances, but she's endlessly undermined by male figures throughout the book. Zachary takes precedence over Polly on multiple occasions. Even when Polly's life is in danger, HER OWN GRANDPARENTS (Mr. and Mrs. Murry) are busy thinking of what Zachary wants. All this fuss about Polly not doing anything to endanger herself and we're actually forced to sit through a conversation where we're concerned with whether or not Zachary will agree to AVOID THE PLACES THAT WOULD PUT POLLY IN DANGER?! Girl, NO. GIRL, BYE! That's bull! And it's not the only occasion where her attempts at feminism get cut short. Anaral having no say in her own future is just as bad as Polly's situation. And in one scene, just because the men in the book want plans to go their way, Polly, Dr. Louise (YES THAT DR. LOUISE, THE SUPPOSED "TEACHER" FROM A WIND IN THE DOOR), AND Mrs. Murry just all... let them decide?! Come ON. This dance with you and feminism is getting OLD, L'Engle! What adds to my own personal disappointment is also the homophobia. Anyone reading these books can see that Polly and her best friend, Max, had a relationship that was clearly "more than friends." When Anaral's character got introduced, the spark of chemistry between Polly and her was a shock so bright and wonderful that I just stamped "Girlfriends!" on my heart, because had L'Engle actually written this differently, it would have been a beautiful and charming relationship to explore. But instead, both girls get paired off with male counterparts, and Max (not really a spoiler) passed away before the events of the book ever happened. So we have one dead potential girlfriend/lover/partner, and then straight-washing the two queer-leaning girls that could have ended up together. *Sighs* I knew it was too good to be true, and I wouldn't trust L'Engle with a relationship like that no matter how much she preached about love in this book (and all the others). But still, it was a disappointment nonetheless. I wish these things were the worst of it, but by far the worst part of this book was Zachary and the emotional manipulation and abusive relationship that he had with Polly. He forces himself on her multiple times, and while it never gets anywhere, there are danger signals blaring EVERYWHERE any time he interacts with her. He touches her forcefully, grabs her and doesn't let go, kisses her when she doesn't initiate or want it, shows up randomly at where she's staying with absolutely no forewarning or asking permission (and her family is pleased because there's that disgusting urgency of all parents/grandparents to force young adults into relationships whether or NOT the young adult is ready for it yet). It's just BAD. What makes it worse though is how he plays the sweet, intelligent, polite role for everyone and then turns it around as soon as he and Polly are alone. I'm telling you, the emotional manipulation and guilt-tripping was disgusting to read. He tries to coerce Polly into doing multiple things she clearly states she doesn't want to, and when he doesn't get his way or doesn't get her to agree to it out of using his (eventually fatal) illness as a bargaining token/guilt tripping method, he puts the blame on her so that she'll give in to what he wants, or he outright yells at her and begins to get physical and aggressive. He puts himself in danger just so that she would give in to his demands, and he does it MULTIPLE times. When they appear to be stuck in the Past at one point, he dismisses Polly as unattractive and unappealing, because he sees that Polly doesn't intend on giving in to his plaintive attempts to fuck her, and turns his attention immediately to fucking Anaral to attempt to make Polly jealous AND to see if he has a chance to get free sex. BUT THEN! he turns around and gets pissed in the same breath that Tav is showing an interest in Polly, because not only is Zachary abusive, coercive, manipulative scum, but he's also a jealous aggressor as well. Honestly, if Zachary wasn't such an enormous coward whose heart would give out if he so much as tried to slap somebody (literally, his heart's supposed to be that bad; aka, his illness that he uses to guilt Polly), he'd probably have tried beating Polly by now to force her to have sex with him. The only positive that comes out of this is that Polly doesn't go with him, but honestly, the message of forgiveness and second chances that L'Engle tries to write into the ending of the book is a little lost on me after all the abusive and harmful messages she's tied into the other books in this series. It's hard to forgive when you've done SO MUCH DAMAGE WITH YOUR WRITING, L'ENGLE! I don't know if this was her attempt at a redemption, but it still has a long way to go before it gets anywhere near the message of love she so adamantly tries to send and constantly undermines with her messages of discrimination, poor representation, and hatred. So, time for the wrap-up: TL;DR This book is definitely majorly improved from the last three books. Got decent characters that aren't just one-sided, but it has a long way to go before it's as excellent a story as it tries to be. That being said, the concept of the book is explored more fully and at a more enjoyable pace than the last three. The plot is driven more by character interactions than just mere *poof!* magic fairy powers! but still has enough fantastical elements to it that it'll keep you going. Still, don't go looking for it to be a feminist favorite. Its diversity, too, is lackluster and racist. And a lot of the reasons this book does so well at all is because L'Engle literally built up the backstory of the "tribal peoples" across her last few books, so she had less to pull out of thin air this time, and it shows. It's an okay read, but she's riding on her coattails at this point. The least I can say is that it wasn't all horrible, and that's far, FAR better than what I had to go through in A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters. My advice for this series? Read A Wrinkle in Time and An Acceptable Time and just skip the other three if you really want a taste of L'Engle's work from this quintet. The middle three are not even WORTH your attention. And with that: I am DONE. Thank you, and good bye!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brianna

    I feel like it needs to be noted that I read the Wrinkle in Time series for the first time as an adult; I had no prior knowledge of the storyline, no nostalgia tied to any of the books. Read as an adult, this entire series is one of the most boring I’ve ever read - it has flaky science scattered throughout, and somehow FIVE whole books were written without much really happening in any of them. Things just sort of happen with no real explanation, without much character development, and little des I feel like it needs to be noted that I read the Wrinkle in Time series for the first time as an adult; I had no prior knowledge of the storyline, no nostalgia tied to any of the books. Read as an adult, this entire series is one of the most boring I’ve ever read - it has flaky science scattered throughout, and somehow FIVE whole books were written without much really happening in any of them. Things just sort of happen with no real explanation, without much character development, and little description of the setting - all of which are necessary to create a picture in the reader’s mind. No one character is especially likeable or relatable. I suffered through all five books because I’m stubborn; I started them, so dang it, I will finish them... but wow, what a waste of time. Massively overrated children’s series. If you haven’t read these books since you were a kid and you’re harboring fuzzy feelings about them, don’t pick them up again if you want to continue loving them as an adult.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kailie

    "'Whatever we give, we have to give out of love. That, I believe, is the nature of God.'" Also, there was a thunderstorm raging while I finished the last 20 pages; it was perfect.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    The most "grown-up" of the Time series, and that's not a good thing. There are no young children in this book, only teenagers and young adults, and correspondingly the delightful lightheartedness that permeated the first book and its sequels (to a lesser degree) is more or less gone. The departures from reality are much milder and in fact, apart from the space/time travel that is present in every book of the series, there is very little that is fantasy proper. This isn't inherently problematic. The most "grown-up" of the Time series, and that's not a good thing. There are no young children in this book, only teenagers and young adults, and correspondingly the delightful lightheartedness that permeated the first book and its sequels (to a lesser degree) is more or less gone. The departures from reality are much milder and in fact, apart from the space/time travel that is present in every book of the series, there is very little that is fantasy proper. This isn't inherently problematic. The problem is that L'Engle just isn't that great at handling the increased gravity. Outside of the main character Polly, the characters are too flimsy. The buildup is actually pretty suspenseful and exciting (the pace here is much slower than in the other Time books), but the payoff in the last third is lousy. And don't be fooled by the scientific trappings; the book's heart is a maudlin sort of mystic, quasi-ecumenical spiritualism that is particularly infuriating to someone like me who favors logic and rationalism and has never felt that religion is a pre-condition for a sense of wonder in the world. Why couldn't L'Engle have just carried on with the kind of stuff in A Wrinkle in Time? Why'd she have to go this route?

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