The one thought I had as I read A Swiftly Tilting Planet is that L'Engle's understanding of quantum physics and chaos theory is better written, developed, and explored in these novels written for adults than it is in such pseudo-scientific presentations as The Secret and What the Bleep Do We Know? There is obviously something ironic about a series of young adult novels being more sophisticated and relevant than these Oprah hyped best-sellers.
L'Engle takes a mythic theme--brother against brother--and explores it through time as Charles Wallace travels from time to time with the help of an annoying unicorn. As a reader I quickly saw the interconnectedness that it took Charles and Meg many leaps to make. And the shifts through time quickly becomes confusing as names blur into meaninglessness. Family names change through time but are so similar that it is challenging to differentiate between one person and another. It would be an incredibly confusing book to read over an extended period of time.
My biggest complaint about the book is that although L'Engle does a good job of re-exploring the iconic Cain and Abel story this theme has been explored better by other writers. If I were to recommend a novel about this theme of struggle and redemption I would direct any reader to Steinbeck's East of Eden without hesitation; the character of Lee remains one of the few literary characters I have ever wished to know in real life. Unfortunately, by this third book, I didn't really care about Meg or Charles Wallace. I am going to force myself to read the fourth book simply because I am curious to do so but the romance I have for A Wrinkle in Time is being worn down by the relationship with these characters lasting too long. Perhaps Many Waters will redeem the series and make a quartet a necessisity rather than a means of milking a cash cow.