Revisiting Many Waters
In the months leading up to the release of the A Wrinkle in Time movie, we're asking authors of middle grade and young adult to revisit a title in Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet. For February, Karuna Riazi (The Gauntlet) revisits Many Waters:
I always wanted to be a twin.
There seemed to be a particular magic in seeing your own face outside of a mirror--passing back and forth secrets and deeply held sorrows with the warmth of shared confidences and determined unity.
I point an accusatory finger at Madeleine L'Engle and Many Waters for this desperate longing for a twin, just as I blame L'Engle for equally desiring a boy to admire both my bravery and my moon-boat eyes.
The ability to anchor the extraordinary within the commonplace is what I've always admired in the Time Quintet, and what really shines in Many Waters.
Sandy and Dennys are particularly magical twins. They finish each other's sentences and stumble into adventure almost as an afterthought. But they are grounded in reality in a relieving way. They casually welcome you into L'Engle's extraordinary tale: shifting time and space, awkward youth performing slightly less awkward acts of heroism.
And even the new world--populated with beautiful, blushworthy seraphim--is not all that unfamiliar. There are still large and teeming families, newfound friendships and painstakingly carved alliances.
"I'm homesick," Sandy says at the book's close. "We probably always will be," Dennys agrees.
This, too, is reality for me: pining for them, their worlds and their capriciously commonplace lives. Every year, I move forward without a twin, and with the sense that I am not as magical and brave and charmingly capable as I hoped to be.
But with every reread, I am able to share their secrets and be warmed by shared confidences and determined unity. And yes, I still don't have a twin, but I hold out hope for a boy who likes a girl with bookish bravery and not necessarily moon-boat eyes. --Karuna Riazi