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An Acceptable Time (Time Quintet #5)

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,270 Ratings  ·  468 Reviews
alternate cover for ISBN 0440208149

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 -
Mass Market Paperback, 343 pages
Published December 1990 by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Company Inc. (first published 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Andrew Leon
Dec 21, 2014 Andrew Leon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jan 09, 2009 Jesse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jun 05, 2012 Stefany rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Mar 25, 2009 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth-children, 2009
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
Dec 28, 2008 Kirsten rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Dec 12, 2014 Anna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: series
“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
Aug 13, 2010 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fitting conclusion to the series. L'Engle's Time Quintet has always been about the passage of time, so a final book that follows a new character, granddaughter to the Drs. Murry and daughter to Calvin and Meg seems fitting. As time passes and we grow up, our children come up behind us and live life in ways both similar to and different from we might ever have imagined.

This book follows the time travelling journey's of Meg's daughter Polly. From the opening images on the Murry land, especially
Jun 14, 2012 Jennie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK, this is the "Time" series (A Wrinkle in Time) Book 5, and the "O'Keefe Family" series Book 4... a little confusing! I'm reading the Time series and am immediately thrust into book 4 of another series... which explains why I feel I'm missing a lot of information on the characters. This book starts out directly with the second generation -- Meg's daughter, Polly. I'm disappointed that the author hasn't given us more of Meg's story, and what happened with her brother, Charles Wallace? I hope we ...more
Jul 02, 2010 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 23, 2011 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1993-and-before
I recently read A Wrinkle in Time, which I thought I was re-reading but apparently for most of my adult life I've had that book confused with several others, including The Not-just-anybody Family and this book. All I remember from An Acceptable Time was a) the cover (that red cloak!), and b) the idea of time circles. I can pretty distinctly recall a scene early on in the story where the main character, a young girl, is wandering around in the forest behind her house and finds a stone wall, where ...more
Russell Hayes
Oct 30, 2014 Russell Hayes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
I was fairly pleased with this story. It tells the tale of a modern girl who comes from a family of scientists who are mostly Christian. The girl finds herself in a time gate, occasionally being transported back in time 3000 years, where apparently there are two tribes of ancient Celts living in America. The first tribe she meets is good (and anachronistically egalitarian), but one man in the tribe wants to sacrifice her to bring rain. That tribe is then raided by the second tribe, which is the ...more
May 29, 2011 Kelsey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-novels, fantasy
My problem with this book isn't the story itself, although it didn't completely redeem the book for me. The dialogue was unbelievable. I've read the previous books in the Wrinkle in Time series, so I know the characters are unusually intelligent and articulate, but it's difficult to imagine people structuring sentences in such a way while speaking and so is a bit hard to take seriously.
Jan 21, 2009 Jenn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first one hundred pages were pretty boring, BUT then she got into a good story. I think this book needed a better editor. I enjoyed the fact that she makes the point that even if you do the right thing and help somebody, you don't have to be friends if they have mistreated you. It's not like you have to open yourself up to abuse.
Jan 09, 2014 Jordan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must say, the first two hundred pages of this book are garbage.

To summarize ALL that happens in these pages: Polly O'Keefe (product of Calvin O'Keefe and Meg Murry) has come to stay with her genius grandparents, Doctor Murry and Doctor Murry. She has tea, she swims, she discovers a time portal to the world of North American druids, she has tea, she swims, she meets with Zachary Gray (most obnoxious little shit ever), she talks about time portals with the bishop. She has tea. She swims. Over.
Douglas Milewski
Mar 22, 2015 Douglas Milewski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wrap up my reading of L'Engle with An Acceptable Time, published in 1989. This book had moved beyond the topics of its day, worrying less about the big events of the world and more about the little. From where comes love, and what do you do with that love? We follow the story of Polly, the daughter of Meg, off onto her own strange adventure. She travels to and from 3,000 years ago, there meeting strange Celts who came to the new world, and the People of the Wind, and the People Across the Wate ...more
Oct 20, 2013 Andree rated it liked it
Shelves: re-read, 2013
This is one of those few L'Engles that I don't really enjoy reading. It's not badly done. Parts of it are quite good, but I'm not wild about it.

I love the first half, with Polly at her grandparents house. I've always loved the Murray house. And it amuses me a lot that it's essentially on some sort of centre of power. The little details referencing the previous books in the series are my favourite part, Charles Wallace owns a copy of Matthew Maddox's Horn of Joy, the references to things being 'w
I enjoyed the first three books in this series when I was younger. The fourth book, Many Waters, I read more recently, and it was good, if not with the same spark as the earlier ones. The fifth book, unfortunately, doesn't stand up.

An Acceptable Time is about Polly, a teenager staying with her grandparents. For reasons that are hinted at but never really explained, a gate opens to a time 3,000 years before, where Polly and her neighbour the bishop interact with the natives (who are led by a wise
Sep 08, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
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 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 ...more
I was surprised to discover that this, my previous favorite of the Time Quintet, held up the least during my reread. :-(

I still think L'Engle did many things well in this book, but it just didn't have the same spark for me this time. I didn't buy into the insta-love with Tav (and neither did Polly--I missed that when I was a teen). I still think that the developments to Zachary Gray's character in this book were well done. (view spoiler)
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.
Kat  Hooper
Mar 20, 2015 Kat Hooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 stars.

The fifth and final book in Madeleine L’Engle’s TIME quintet is An Acceptable Time, a story about Polly, the daughter of Meg and Calvin, the kids we first met in that now-classic children’s science fiction novel A Wrinkle in Time. (Polly is also featured in a different L’Engle series about the O’Keefe family, and An Acceptable Time is the fourth and final book of that series. Slightly confusing, I know.)

One autumn while Polly is visiting her famous grandparents at their house in the c
Chula Brown Buffalo
I got totally sucked into this book! It made me feel like a little kid again. All I wanted to do was read this book, and then when I wasn't, I was daydreaming of time travel. I was sad when the book ended, but I find solace in having a new book character friend. Polly will always be in my heart, maybe love can travel across time, space and pages?
Not the best in the series, but certainly not terrible. I will admit that for whatever reason I did not have high expectations for this book despite liking the rest of the series. I am rather glad of the subject matter as it relates to "A Swiftly Tilted Planet" in one aspect that I rather enjoyed in that book. Different storyline, characters. It's worth the read and quick if nothing else.
Grace Brooks
Feb 11, 2016 Grace Brooks rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last of the Wrinkle in Time quintet. I love Madeleine L'Engle's writing overall, but I can't give this book or the series five stars. The first book is definitely that -- five-and-a-half, if it were possible -- but the others don't have the same perfect marriage of science, fantasy and faith. An Acceptable Time has some interesting passages in it and some interesting thoughts. But if it weren't the last in this series, I doubt I would have hung in there.
Mar 20, 2009 Kaitlyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book has substanitally tilted my veiw of L'Engle's "Time" Series. I used to think they were the best children's books EVER, but now I'm thinking maybe I only believe that because they amazed me so much when I was small. This was the only one of the series that I ever read for the first time as an adult, and boy did it suck hard. Way too religious, not nearly as creative as the others (there weren't even any mythological beings) and the most sci-fi it got was time-traveling back and forth be ...more
Powder River Rose
Polly is the daughter of Meg, granddaughter of the Murray's. Time/space opens and Polly, the Bishop and Zach cross back in time 3000 years. This is quite good but still frustrating as it's as if none of the past ever happened to the Murray family. Just seems strange that the author would write it that way. It's an overlapping of beliefs and religion. Recommend series to all ages.
I seem to be on a L'Engle reread, going from book to book as they pull at me. Going from The Arm of the Starfish to An Acceptable Time (which I do recall liking years ago) was ... odd. Not a bad book in its own right, at all, but so strange to see this character named Polly O'Keefe who feels not at all like the Poly O'Keefe of Starfish, and not only because she's older, and who seems to have so little memory of the events of the earlier book.

I wonder how it reads if one reads it after the other
This is by far the weakest book of L'Engle's I have read to date.
The first two hundred pages I read was nothing but dialogue mostly held in someone's kitchen, I wish I was joking. I really really do.
I love L'Engle for her very out of sorts settings she sets. She is great at setting, we saw it in "A Swiftly Tilting Planet" we saw it in "A Wrinkle in Time" and over half the book takes place in a kitchen.
Mother lovin' kitchens.
Most of the dialogue is dull. There are good points; L'Engle has a gift
Dec 20, 2015 Tomislav rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, 1-star
It had been a long time since I read a childrens' book. By the time I was about 12, I had moved up to the adult science fiction section at my town's library. I read L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time before that, but even then I found the space/time travel explanation involving tesseracts to be pure science-word gibberish. But I did enjoy the adventure of that story.

In this, the fifth book in the series, Polly, the oldest daughter of Meg and Calvin, is now a teenager herself, visiting her grandparents
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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
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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)
  • Many Waters (Time Quintet, #4)

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“Truth is eternal. Knowledge is changeable. It is disastrous to confuse them.” 46 likes
“My dear, I'm seldom sure of anything. Life at best is a precarious business, and we aren't told that difficult or painful things won't happen, just that it matters. It matters not just to us but to the entire universe.” 24 likes
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