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Many Waters
Madeleine L'Engle
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Many Waters (Time Quintet #4)

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  33,580 Ratings  ·  994 Reviews
The fifteen-year-old Murry twins, Sandy and Dennys, are accidentally sent back to a strange Biblical time period, in which mythical beasts roam the desert and a man named Noah is building a boat in preparation for a great flood.
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published January 1st 1986 by Farrar Straus Giroux
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Jan 18, 2008 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just barely edged out as my favorite book in the series (right behind "A swiftly Tilting Planet"). Tells a story less concerned with love and justice and all about the hard choices that people (and deities) make in a flawed world.

An out and out retelling of the Biblical Deluge from the point of view of two modern teenagers. Unique in that it makes no apology for all the fantastical stuff the Bible referred to in antediluvian times. Angels getting it own with the village girls, men who live for c
Mar 27, 2014 Kitty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
It always amuses me when people say "coming of age story" when what they really mean is "sexual awakening". And don't be confused, there *is* a difference. Take for instance Hayao Miyazaki's 2001 film Spirited Away, this is a great example of a coming of age film. Yes, the protagonist Chihiro does meet a certain dragon/boy she may like more than a friend but this is not what pushes the character development, what pushes her to "grow up" are the lessons she learns about hard work, sacrifice and c ...more
Andrew Leon
Sep 07, 2014 Andrew Leon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, there will be spoilers, but, seriously, it doesn't matter, because you don't want to read this book.

All right. So this book deals with Sandy and Dennys, who have been little better than side characters in the other books. They are Meg and Charles Wallace's "normal" brothers. Twins. It also takes place prior to A Swiftly Tilting Planet, while the twins are sports stars in high school. The impression I got is that they are probably juniors and about 17 years old. Basically, the boys walk into
Jun 13, 2013 Mayra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No one seems to acknowledge these books as much as A Wrinkle in Time, but this one was by far my favorite. And maybe this is an overreaction, but I thought this one story was really beautiful. I really liked the Biblical time that the twins Sandy and Dennys went back to, and how in that time, angels were on the earth with humans. It was interesting that they could take the form of an animal, and it was clear that the Seraphim were good and the Nephilim evil. There were so many characters in this ...more
Aug 23, 2007 Alexis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
so... this was the first of all the books which made me realize while i was reading it that it was all christian imagery. i mean, the arc and all - noah... hard to miss, right? and that's what people say about aslan - just a jesus allegory - but i didn't have any christian education as a child, so i missed all of that. and most people say the same "when i was a kid i didn't realize it had all that christian metaphor." which i think means that in effect, it didn't. if we don't know the correspond ...more
Jan 03, 2014 Jordan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know that sliver of Genesis between the interminable lists of old dudes ("And Methuselah lived 969 years, blah blah blah...") and the tempestuous God-rage era of Noah and the Flood? Yeah, that's the setting for this book.

Sandy and Dennys, the unbearably logical Vulcan-esque children of Mr. and Mrs. Murry, end up in biblical times through an accidental encounter with their parents' magic computer. Noah's son, Japheth, rescues them from the desert heat with the help of two unicorns (more unic
Kat  Hooper
Mar 20, 2015 Kat Hooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Many Waters is the fourth book in Madeleine L’Engle’s TIME quintet. The previous three books, A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet have all focused on Meg Murray and her strange little brother Charles Wallace as they travel through time and space. Many Waters is completely different. In this story, Meg’s twin brothers Sandy and Dennis mess with a computer in their mother’s lab and get blasted back to the time of Noah before he built the ark. From there the story tu ...more
Lauren Schultz
Many Waters, the fourth book in Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet, continues to follow the fantastic time/space travel exploits of the Murry family. Instead of focusing on Meg and Charles Wallace, however, this novel is about their “normal” siblings Sandy and Dennys. The twins have always been the ordinary members of the extraordinary Murry family and haven’t taken part in previous adventures, but when they fool around with their father’s computer and inadvertently mess up his experiment with “te ...more
Ali M.
Still reflecting on this one. It's so lyrical, thoughtful, and strange. Nothing like the other Time books. Though L'Engle uses simple language and descriptions, the world she paints has so much contrast and so many unexpected elements that I was wholly immersed, thinking about it even when I wasn't reading - and it's been awhile since that happened.

If you're anticipating this to be a piece of preachy historical Bible-fiction because of the subject matter, you'll be surprised, as I was. It never
Catherine McGinnes
I didn't enjoy this one as much as the others in the series. Book 4 got a bit preachy. Literally. Sandy and Dennys (my fav characters in the preceding books) mistakenly go back in time to when Noah was building his arc (which, okay, I guess we can pretend like theres no question whether or not this really happened. Sure.) It's written well and it does bring up some great points about how sexist Noah's story actually is (primarily the fact that his wife and his sons wives names are never mentione ...more
Nov 24, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: series
fascinating blend of science, mythology and Bible epic

In this adventure, the twins Sandy and Dennys take center stage. They are thrust into the prehistoric world before the Great Flood and encounter early civilized men, supernatural beings like the seraphim and nephilim, as well as creatures like the mammoth, manticores, griffiths and unicorns. Along with the mythic elements, it's an incredible coming of age story.

The usually inseparable twins are actually apart for most of the story both physi
Jun 29, 2010 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a departure from the main characters of the first three books, Madeleine L'Engle's Many Waters follows Sandy and Dennys Murry, the twin brothers of the Murry family that had little to do in the first three novels. While this was unexpected, L'Engle recaptures a great deal of the mythic tone in this novel that was so clearly present in the first of her Time novels.

And it is precisely because of that mythic quality that I like this novel so much. L'Engle, who sends her protagonists back to the
The final book of the "Time" quartet, of which I really only loved the first two. Still, this one was entertaining and with a new approach that is, in its way, just as mind-bendingly fantastic as the others.

Twin brothers Sandy and Dennys, who have so far avoided most of the strange adventures that have ensnared their sister and little brother, are finally in for one. Poking around in their mother and father's lab, they decide to inspect one of the ongoing experiments, despite its warning sign. A
May 02, 2012 Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who love the Time Quartet
Recommended to Rose by: My public library
I've always thought that Madeline L'Engle had a way of transporting readers to different dimensions with an interesting level of detail and intrigue in her writing and overall works. "Many Waters" was no exception, though the story is quite different from the usual "Time Quartet" travels, in that it has more biblical ties and features a set of characters who hadn't previously ventured on their own dimensional travels in the primary storyline with Meg and Charles Wallace.

Enter Sandy and Dennys, t
Ng Xin
This book. This book! From the first time I read it maybe four or five years ago, I adored it, and I admire Madeleine L'Engle so much for having the brains and creativity to craft a story so brilliant, so bold, so just-absolutely-magnificent - I can never have enough words. This book is hands-down, pants-down my favorite of the Time Quintet series, and ties for my favorite-ever L'Engle with A Ring of Endless Light , which, surprise! is also full of absolutely luminous prose and a glorious plot. ...more
Apr 10, 2010 Deanna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
I started reading this out loud to my boys, but after a chapter I quickly realized that that was not going to work. This book, much to my surprise, was an adult book.

In this book the Murray twins get transported back in time to the days of Noah right before the flood. The daughters of men are cavorting with the nephilum and it is quite descriptive! These "experienced" (they actually say some other words) girls come after our Murray twins and it gets a little racy. Also the people are all 4 feet
Dec 09, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Neftzger
Mar 18, 2012 Amy Neftzger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many Waters is the fourth book in Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time series. This is one of the more fascinating blends of Science Fiction and Fantasy that I've read because it also incorporates some Biblical history. Two high school age children travel back in time to meet Noah and his family just before the world-wide flood. The issues of good vs. evil as well as free will and cultural difference are all explored through this extremely well written book. I found myself thinking about my own ...more
Mar 26, 2007 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the other contender for my favorite Madeleine L'Engle book. I especially love this book because of its version of the biblical story of Noah and the flood, a story that I've heard often and that loses its luster since I spent my entire childhood in Sunday School. L'Engle blends biblical ideas and stories with her own imaginative renderings of that time, like her interpretations of the seraphim and nephilim, mythical creatures like manticores, and her explanation of Noah's daughters' cons ...more
Joel Wentz
May 13, 2014 Joel Wentz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A Wrinkle in Time" is one of my favorite books ever. L'engle's imagination is singular, and her ability to pull the reader into her imagined world is also unique. "Many Waters" is the fourth book in the "Wrinkle in Time" series, and it fits well into the aesthetic and tone of every book before it, which is a wonderful thing. The pre-flood world is a mysterious and fantastical place, defying any traditional explanation, and L'engle sparks the reader's imagination while painting compelling charac ...more
Jul 21, 2008 SKB rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like sad, shadow versions of awesome books
Yeah, no matter what anyone says, this book is NOT part of the "Time Trilogy." I'm sorry. There is NO "Time Quadrilogy." No. This book? NOT in the canon. All I remember was that there is a horrific birthing scene with a gigantic, cone-shaped head that scarred me for life and, as my friend puts it, made me do involuntary kegels at the reading of it. This is the "Just the Ten of Us" to the REAL series' "Growing Pains," the "Joanie Loves Chachi" to "Happy Days." NO. It is "Three's a Crowd" to "Thre ...more
Powder River Rose
I really liked this one. The twins starred this time and went back to the time of the Ark. Great way to capture the story.
Rebecca Klein
Many Waters, by Madeleine L'Engle published in 1986, is the fourth book in the Wrinkle in Time Series. The twins, Sandy and Dennys are the practical, down to earth members of the Murry family. They never pay attention to their parents' who are scientists. While looking for cocoa for some hot chocolate on a cold winter's day, they accidentally go into their parents' lab while an experiment is in progress. They end up during the time of Noah's ark and the flood. They met the characters in the bibl ...more
Molly Nankey
Sep 02, 2014 Molly Nankey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unlike most books, Many Waters starts out incredibly slow, but as the story continues the detail and the depth of the book continued to draw me in. Since this book is part of a series I would not suggest reading this book without reading the the other 3 first, because with the previous knowledge of the other 3, this book makes more sense than it should. This book is a good read for historical fiction, this book also contains some science with the end, about quantum physics and quantum leaps and ...more
We love
I thought this was interesting, bordering on weird. ;)
Mar 04, 2016 Geoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommendation: I enjoyed it and if you make it through the first three it’s definitely worth reading. I’d almost suggest reading it out-of-order and reading this before A Swiftly Tilting Planet. It would make a bit more sense and chronologically would fit better. L’Engle remained very careful of not hitting you over the head with religion even with the angels (seraphim) and fallen angels (nephilim) playing a major part of the story.

My Response: L’Engle went right past allegory and straight up t
Douglas Milewski
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 22, 2015 Cliff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Curious, that's my feeling on this book. While I appreciate that Sandy and Dennys were given more substantial roles than they had in previous books, I'm not sure why L'Engle chose to tell a story that clearly occurred prior to the events of A Swiftly Tilting Planet. If anything, it begs the question why the adult Sandy and Dennys are so pragmatic later in life, after their experiences here.

Also curious is the story itself. Each book in the series tells the story of correcting a cosmic wrong, yet
Overall, MW is not my favorite book out of the series. While it was an interesting concept with Noah and the flood, and the nephilliam (I apologize,I know I spelled that wrong) and seraphim's role in pre-flood times, it was not my favorite story thus far. However, I did enjoy the personalities of Dennys and Sandy, and the characters that consisted of Noah's family. While I am not sure of how I feel about Madeleine L'Engle's take on the flood, it made a somewhat enjoyable story to read; I was vag ...more
I’m still not sure about the point of this book. I get it, the Murry twins travel back in time (because they did what they were not supposed to do and touched a machine in their parent’s lab) to Biblical times before the flood.

It was highly entertaining, I won’t lie, but the point I’m trying to get to here is that I don’t know why they needed to travel back. To learn about love? To show that history can’t be changed? To meet a different stage of human evolution?

There are too many questions, and
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101 Books to Read...: Time Quintet 04 - Many Waters 2 7 Apr 17, 2015 05:06PM  
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Madeleine L'Engle was an American writer best known for her Young Adult fiction, particularly the Newbery Medal-winning A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters. Her works reflect her strong interest in modern science: tesseracts, for example, are featured prominently in A Wrinkle in Time, mitochondrial DNA in A Wind in the Door, organ regener ...more
More about Madeleine L'Engle...

Other Books in the Series

Time Quintet (5 books)
  • A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1)
  • A Wind in the Door (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #2)
  • A Swiftly Tilting Planet (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #3)
  • An Acceptable Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #5)

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“Their love was a bright flower, youthful and radiantly beautiful.” 16 likes
“Behind the violence of the birthing of galaxies and stars and planets came a quiet and tender melody, a gentle love song. All the raging of creation, the continuing hydrogen explosions on the countless suns, the heaving of planetary bodies, all was enfolded in a patient, waiting love.” 15 likes
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