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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Third in the Time Quartet, this book is mainly about Charles Wallace. In order to save the world from great evil, Charles Wallace and Gaudior, a unicorn, must travel through time. Meg's mother-in-law, Mrs. O'Keefe came to thanksgiving dinner in order to share a rune with Charles Wallace and commission him to fight the evil. He goes to fight the evil, all the while sharing a kythe with Meg who helps him to stay rooted to the present and to who he is.

Charles Wallace is given the opportunity to go "within" -- to be inside four other humans, to share life with them for a time. To experience what they experience and know what they know -- and to share the rune with them, bringing hope to hopeless situations. Most of the four people that Charles goes within are special -- seeing visions, seeking peace, having relationships with those who are different, kything (sort of like mature telepathy) -- seeing the world as it might be instead of just as it is. As Charles Wallace is within, time becomes blurred both for him and his hosts -- and they sometimes see one another or share experiences they should know nothing about. But they are connected through Charles and together make decisions and actions and bring hope which alters the course of one man who affects the world.

In the first chapter there is a phone call saying that 'Mad Dog Branzillo' is threatening to use nuclear weapons and ruin the whole earth. This is certainly sobering news, but the twins wonder whether it might be better if humans didn't exist because we can do so much evil. Charles Wallace jumps in with how everything is interconnected -- the really small with the really large, so that if earth were to be ruined it would affect the rest of the universe, something which cannot be good. The events that Charles Wallace affects while he is 'within' are somewhat small, but their effects ripple through generations. And the child who is born to become the great threat in Charles Wallace's time was destined to be great -- either for great evil, or for great good.

Title:A Swiftly Tilting Planet
Author: Madeleine L'Engle
Date published:1978
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Time Quartet
Number of pages: 256
Notes: Repeat reading


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