Many Waters Review

Many Waters, by Madeleine L’Engle, was published in 1986 and is the fourth book in a series about the exceedingly strange adventures of the Murry children.

Somehow, though I read and loved the first three books in the series growing up, I missed reading book four, so I thought it was time to rectify that mistake.

This story follows twins Sandy and Dennys (which I think is just an alternate spelling of “Dennis”? I have never been 100% sure). They are the most “normal” presenting of the brilliant Murry children, and did not go on the adventures that their siblings Meg and Charles Wallace went on in the first three books.

Sandy and Dennys, arriving home one winter afternoon, don’t see the sign on the door of their parents’ lab/ garage that says “experiment in progress” and are flung back in time—all the way back to the time of Biblical Noah.

It’s an interesting look at what things might have been like in a strange time in a strange story. I have lots of questions about unicorns and mammoths now, but also, it’s weird to include unicorns and mammoths in a pre-flood culture—did they just go extinct? I have mixed feelings about the success of the story which, while interesting, seemed very far removed from any story set on Earth.

I kind of wish Sandy & Dennys had traveled to a different planet instead of being flung back in Earth history, because thinking that this was supposed to just be primitive Earth brought up so many more questions than otherwise.

In general, I think the first three stories in this set are stronger, though that could also be that I experienced those stories as a child. There’s no nostalgia for this story for me, and that might be a contributing factor.

★ ★ ★

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