An Acceptable Time Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of An Acceptable Time

The heroine in this story is Polly O'Keefe, daughter of Meg Murry and Calvin O'Keefe, a time travelling family, whose adventures started with the famous first book of the Time Quartet series, 'A Wrinkle In Time'. Polly is visiting the old New England family home where the two doctors Murry now live in retirement, and are none too keen to have their grandchildren or friends undertake the dangers of time travel. But of course their house is built at the intersection of ancient lay lines and is a place of power still, as it was thousands of years ago. For their distant ancestors, part American Indian, part British Celtic druid, who lived 3000 years ago in that very location, it is a time of great need. The rains have failed and the two Tribes of the Lake are going to war over land for crops, a matter of survival. They have the power to communicate across time circles and call for such help as they need in time of crisis, be it for blood sacrifice or guidance - who can say until the drama is played out? So it is that their timelines cross and they are drawn into the far past: Polly, her boyfriend, the bishop, and Louis the Larger, a snake of terrible aspect but benign powers.
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This story is more personal and more complex than the others, aimed at an audience that has grown up with, or at least read the earlier Time Quartet. Many actors are pulled into the story: the healers of the tribes, the warriors, the chieftains, and their followers. The characters are deeply enganged in the attempt to understand the powers at work, see patterns in the circumstances and events, and the common meaning in the ancient faith and rituals and the Christian understanding that the moderns bring to it. There is more debate and less action than usual; the ideas are more complex and the discussion deeper; more concepts are touched upon than answers given. A good book for those who like a stimulus to further thinking.
The review of this Book prepared by Michael JR Jose

Polly is sent to live with the Murry's, her wonderfully strange and brilliant grandparents, to study, but when she is transported back in time 3000 years into the middle of a couple skirmishing tribes, both of which at one point or another want to sacrifice her to bring
rain, even the space traveling and Nobel prize winning Murk's have do not know what to
think of her particularly odd situation. With much joy and fluidity L'Engle tells this story
of time travel, love, understanding, and redemption.
The review of this Book prepared by Joe

Chapter Analysis of An Acceptable Time

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 50% Tone of book    -   sensitive (sigh....) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy world/fantasy past Time Travel:    -   largely backwards/past Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Kid's book (ages 7-14) Time Travel story?    -   Yes Religious overtones?    -   Yes Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Culture clash-    -   one person from different culture of other persons

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen If magical mental powers:    -   teleportation    -   healing


Terrain    -   Water    -   Mountains    -   Forests Earth setting:    -   20th century    -   general past Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   mostly dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Madeleine L'Engle Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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