Book Review: Many Waters – Madeleine L’Engle

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sandy and his twin brother, Dennys, are the practical, down-to-earth members of the Murry family. They have never paid much attention to their scientist parents' talk of highly theoretical things like tesseracts and farondalae. But now something has happened to Sandy and Dennys that drastically stretches their powers of belief. And, when disaster threatens the oasis where they have made their home, can they find a way back to their own time?


L’Engle’s writing is improving with each book that is for sure. And such strange little stories she writes! In this one she takes us back to a time when the Nephilim and Seraphim walked the Earth – when the sons of God slept with the daughters of man according to Genesis 6:1–4, New Revised Standard Version. And that is definitely a major theme throughout Many Waters. Lately we have seen the emergence of the Nephilim in popular YA books like the Fallen series by Lauren Kate and The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. However, L’Engle’s storyline is one of a more biblical rendition, placing the story line before the flood when Noah is building the ark.  The twins, Dennys and Sandy – the often brushed aside siblings of Meg and Charles Wallace – go on an adventure all their own and find themselves back in time.

I did find myself at times wondering it was really all that appropriate for children with phrases like “…her breasts delicate and rosy…” and talk of another’s beauty for sale and the use of the word “slut”. I was a little taken back by this but then the story is also sprinkled with mythical creatures like unicorns and griffins and manticore. I have to say that I did become attached to the characters and felt invested in the story line. L’Engle also clearly put a great deal of thought into what an early Earth would have been like with active volcanoes and active plate tectonics. L'Engle's story telling continues to improve!

I am fascinated by L’Engle’s clear interest in science and belief in God. As a scientist, I am not of the opinion that these subjects need to be mutually exclusive. The more I learn about the world around us the more I know that I do not know. Did the atom not exist before we could measure it, simply because we did not have the tools to measure it? …maybe.