Kerry's Reviews > A Swiftly Tilting Planet

A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle
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Mar 26, 10

bookshelves: 10, 2010, childrens, fantasy, reread, sf
Read from March 25 to 26, 2010

While I was supposed to be rereading this one for a book challenge this month, I kept putting off starting it. This was because I remember this book with such fondness and I was afraid it wouldn't live up to my memory. I was disappointed in my reread of A Wind in the Door and I was so scared the same thing would happen again.

I needn't have worried. I loved this book all over again. It simply works for me in all ways. Which is kind of funny when I think about it, as the main characters of the previous books, especially Meg and Charles Wallace, are actually pushed into the background by all the vignettes of Madoc and Gwydyr's descendants and the futures they might bring. It doesn't matter in the least. I found myself caught up in all their stories, and especially Mom O'Keefe's, and kept reading steadily whenever I had a chance today.

L'Engle's use of theology is much quieter here, which also helps. It's fundamental to the story in its own way (partly about the balance of the universe and partly as the tale of Cain and Abel plays out again and again) but it fits the story so much more smoothly. Yes, it is Christian theology, but it isn't shoved in your face and I think this book would be much more accessible to a non-Christian reader than the previous book. For me, it was a beautiful backdrop to the story that fitted it perfectly.

The whole story fit for me. It's beautiful and ultimately a successful ending, but it remains bittersweet throughout, which adds more power to the story. Meg discovery of the depths in her mother-in-law, almost too late is a perfect example, but the story is stronger for it.

I loved this all over again and I'm so glad I did get up the courage to reread it. Now I know how powerful it remains for an adult reader, I'm sure I'll be doing it again. This may be a book for children, but it is also a book for adults and there is certainly nothing childish about it.

And P.S. Isn't the title just wonderful? I love the titles of all three of the original books (the last two aren't nearly as evocative) but this is my favourite of all.
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