Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.

An Acceptable Time (Time Quartet, Bk. 5)

An Acceptable Time - Madeleine L'Engle Although I'm long past the age where I should be reading Madeleine L'Engle's books for young adults, a few years ago I happened upon a copy of An Acceptable Time in a bookstore and snapped it up. I've read everything of Madeleine L'Engle's that I've been able to find in print, and wasn't about to let my age stop me from reading more about one of my favorite L'Engle families.::: An Acceptable Plot :::An Acceptable Time brings us back to Poly (now Polly) O'Keefe, the daughter of Meg and Calvin from A Wrinkle in Time and other L'Engle novels for young adults. Polly has been sent to stay with her grandparents after the death of her friend Max, allegedly to provide her with more science education than she was getting at her high school. Once she is there, Polly once again meets up with Zachary Grey, a spoiled rich kid who seems to have no redeeming qualities yet L'Engle's teen heroines (first Vicky Austin and now Polly) are inexplicably drawn to him.Polly, Zak, and the brother of Polly's grandparents' friend Dr. Louise Colubra get drawn into a tesseract (where two circles of time meet and can be crossed) involving a tribe of Native Americans, including Druids. While Dr. Louise and Polly's grandparents try to keep Polly safe, some of the Native Americans from the other time circle believe that a blood sacrifice is needed to bring rain to their drought-affected land. Is Polly meant to be their sacrifice?::: An Acceptable Sermon? :::One of the things that I always loved about L'Engle's works as a teenager was that they addressed issues of spirituality without being overtly preachy. While many of her novels have had characters who are clergy (Canon Tallis, the Austin grandfather), they have never been as preachy as Bishop Nason Colubra. What begins as an interesting story about simple times and how some of these Native American Druids may have had a simple spirituality that our time would be lucky to have turns into a sermon about Christianity and Christ's sacrifice for mankind.The first half of the book is very involving, and hints at another reason for Polly to have come to stay with her grandparents than just enhancing her science curriculum. However, the second half gets so involved with the concept of the blood sacrifice and Bishop Colubra's sermons every five minutes that it seems L'Engle forgot to tell us why Polly is there with her grandparents. If I hadn't read A House Like a Lotus I would have had no idea what experiences Polly might need to recover from at all.Worst of all is the pat ending, which feels hurriedly rushed. Not only is there no surprise ending, but the conclusion feels as if L'Engle tired of writing the book and just wanted it over with.::: An Acceptable Rating :::For any fan of L'Engle's novels, An Acceptable Time is most likely a must-read, if for no other reason than to hear even a little more about characters who feel almost like family when you've spent as much time with them during your young adult years as I did. However, this is far from L'Engle's best work, and can be rated only average, at best.This review previously published at Epinions:

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