15. “A Wrinkle In Time” by Madeline L’Engle & “Swamplandia!” by Karen Russell
Twelve-year-old Ava of "Swamplandia!" doesn’t travel through space and time, but she does travel through the Floridian swamps all on her own and, like Meg Murry of "A Wrinkle in Time", her bravery is for the sake of her family. As Ava sets off to save their alligator-wrestling dynasty, she travels deep into a beautifully surreal and somewhat mystical landscape, encountering dangerous strangers and creatures alike.
Do you agree these were good compliments? What did you think of the books themselves?
Note: I have linked my reviews to each of the respective books as the titles in the beginning of this post. Also, if you have not read the books, I will likely have spoilers below so watch out!
No! I absolutely do not think these books complement each other. Although I will readily admit that I’m not a big fan of “Swamplandia!” in the first place, it really pains me to have it compared to “A Wrinkle in Time”. “A Wrinke in Time” is mature, challenging and extremely enjoyable to re-read as an adult. Although filled with magic and travels, the children are fairly down to Earth and develop throughout the book.
In “Swamplandia!” I can say that the characters somewhat grew throughout the book, but that’s where the similarities stopped. Meg is not self-aware at all, fairly immature and seems to believe anything that people tell her. Add to the situation some “magical realism” elements (I put that in quotes because I’m still not convinced if it was meant to be magical realism or not.) and the book became extremely confusing. While Meg’s brother somewhat improved, she did not. As such, I my verdict is that these are not good complements and I wouldn’t recommend “Swamplandia!” to anyone.