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An Acceptable Time (Time Quintet #5)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  12,032 ratings  ·  417 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 January 1st 1989)
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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
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
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 ...more
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
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 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
I get that L'Engle really wants to focus the action and perspective on the children and the occasional non-parent trusted adult in her books. I understand that each character gets "their" time, seasons change and she didn't want to go the route of LM Montgomery and Anne.

What frustrates me is the "mother" role that the mothers fall into. Mrs. Austin, Kate and Meg all seem to blend together in their calm, skirt-wearing, bland, there but unobtrusive, dispensing tranquil but sometimes hard-to-hear w
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
It's been a long time since I revisited L'Engle. As a kid, I LOVED _A Wrinkle in Time_, and really enjoyed _A Wind in the Door_. The last books by L'Engle I read with enthusiasm were _Dragons in the Waters_ and _Irrational Season_, both in the late 70s and early 80s.

But then I got tired of the aristocratic limits of the main characters: their accolades (multiple PhDs, Nobel Prizes . . .), their cultivated tastes, their high-minded dialogue, in a word, their "Mary-Sue-ness." What drew me to Meg
I really don't know what L'Engle was thinking with this last novel of the quintet. Now, we've completely fast-forwarded to Meg and Calvin's offspring. No word on any of the Murry siblings (really?). (I'm assuming I have to read the other four Murry-O Keefe novels, but this is the Time Quintet and should stand alone.) Both of the Murry scientist-parents act in such as way as if their earlier adventures had no effect on their thought processes or judgments. They refer to it, but their language and ...more
Well, I finished the Time Quintet and while I'm happy to finally done so, I'm not sure that the last two books were necessary. Both felt as if they were tacked on because they dealt with time travel and in keeping with the rest of the books, used love as the answer to all evils.

Admittedly, it's a bit hard to come back from A Swiftly Tilting Planet where the Murry/O'Keefe's effectively save the world from nuclear destruction. But I had a hard time with the inherent discrepancies in the timelines.
So now that I've reread the whole quintet, I feel like I can offer my complete opinion. I used to love these books in late elementary school, so I thought they'd stand up better to the test of time. They weren't quite what I remembered, though. Part of it is on me. I don't remember the religiosity being so heavy handed before, but I was still religious back then so I probably didn't notice it. Now it just grates on me. L'Engle wrote about a world where science and angels could coexist, and I don ...more
Charlie Kravetz
This review is for the Kindle edition ebook.

Adventure, time travel, joys of discovery, excitement, all rolled into one great story for young adults and everyone else.

The final book of the Time Quintet finds Meg's daughter, Polly, visiting her grandparents. She is dragged back in time 3000 years with a couple of friends. It is up to Polly to survive and return safely, or history could be changed forever.

The Time Quintet has been a great set of books to read. I like the way the author presents a b
Catherine Gillespie
Having read so much of her non-fiction, I decided to re-read some of L’Engle’s novels. I remember reading the Wrinkle in Time series as a kid and wondered if it would be a good thing to recommend for my daughter (then aged 7).

I totally enjoyed re-reading these books from an adult perspective--at least the broader series. This particular book was not a favorite. I do think that thematically they might be better for an older child.

I don’t remember if I hated An Acceptable Time as a kid, but I fou
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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)
  • Many Waters (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #4)
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 (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #4) A Ring of Endless Light (Austin Family, #5)

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“Truth is eternal. Knowledge is changeable. It is disastrous to confuse them.” 41 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.” 16 likes
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