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An Acceptable Time (Time Quintet #5)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  16,255 Ratings  ·  684 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 October 1st 1989)
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David You probably only need to read A Wrinkle in Time, and maybe House Like a Lotus. Wrinkle sets up some of the concepts they mention. Lotus tells the…moreYou probably only need to read A Wrinkle in Time, and maybe House Like a Lotus. Wrinkle sets up some of the concepts they mention. Lotus tells the story of Polly (daughter of the kids from Wrinkle). I'd say read that only because it introduces one of the new characters who is a major part of Acceptable. All the other books make the story better because you have a background on the characters, but ultimately you could read it as a stand alone.

Wrinkle is one of the best childrens/young adult books ever written, so I'd try that regardless.(less)
Alexandra I read this book many years after completing the first 3 books in the Time quintet, and other than some minor family spoilers (children, marriages,…moreI read this book many years after completing the first 3 books in the Time quintet, and other than some minor family spoilers (children, marriages, etc) I had no trouble with it at all.

There are some references to House Like A Lotus and a subplot will lose a little oomph for not having read that first. But for me personally it didn't hinder my enjoyment of the book. It just made me want to go back and read the rest one once I was finished!(less)

Community Reviews

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Andrew Leon
Dec 21, 2014 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 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 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 08, 2009 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 21, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 02, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
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 ...more
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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 08, 2014 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
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
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.)
Victor The Reader
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grade: B
Kami Gardner
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 13, 2010 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
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.
May 13, 2012 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
May 23, 2011 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
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
May 24, 2011 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 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.
Danielle Cintron
I was determined to finish the Time Quintet, but I find that I only really enjoyed the Original story. The extended series wasn't as interesting or entertaining to me. However, this final story was better than the three stories in the middle of the Quintet.
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd read all of the other Time Quintet books over the years, and finally decided to read the O'Keefe series. None of them compared to the original A Winkle in Time (and to a lesser extent, A Wind in the Door). It was hard to believe the same author actually wrote them. The quality was so far below that of the original.

I finally made it to An Acceptable Time, and initially loved it. L'Engle brought us back to the Murray farmhouse, and re-introduced us to the adult Murrays. We also got to see Dr.
Fifth in the 'Time Quintet', featuring Polly O'Keefe, although it stands alone. Polly has gone to live with her grandparents for a while, and finds herself unexpectedly three thousand years in the past...

There are some realistic insights into what life might have been like in this era, complete with druids, healers and also warriors. There's another clan on the other side of the lake, whose goddess apparently demands human sacrifice in order to bring rain, to stop the terrible drought...

It's qui
My memory was vaguely triggered as I read this book, but I still maintain that this is a first read for me...maybe because I've read others of L'Engle's some of the characters were familiar? Hm. Either way, this is classic, wonderful L'Engle: whereas in some other works the fate of the universe hinges on one person, this time the fate of one person hinges on the actions of whole communities of people...3000 years ago. Time travel, a little romance (the nature of which makes this one for perhaps ...more
Despite a really annoying character, I actually liked this book more than the others in the series. Although, I have to say, that after reading all 5 in the Wrinkle quintet in a week that they are all rather boring. I thought it would be fun, but finishing the quintet was more of a chore than anything else.
Jeannette Noel

This one was good enough. I love the wrinkle in time series but this final installment was disappointing. It still held the innocence, faith, and mystery I have come to enjoy from L'Engle. However, it was missing the carefree and youthful theme that holds with the others in the quintet.
Bailey Marissa

This was odd, but I still enjoyed it.

Recommended 13/14+ for mentions of human sacrifice
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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 (6 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)
  • Intergalactic P.S. 3: A Wrinkle in Time Story

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“Truth is eternal. Knowledge is changeable. It is disastrous to confuse them.” 53 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.” 30 likes
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