Many Waters by Madeleine L’Engle

Published: 1986

Genre: middle grade science fiction-ish

Length: 310 pages

Setting: Earth during the time of Noah

Interest: It’s the fourth and final book in the Time Quartet series (which starts with A Wrinkle in Time) I’ve been slowly reading to Mr. Curiosity as bedtime stories.

Summary: Sandy and Dennys accidentally mess with one of their father’s experiments and find themselves transported somewhere or somewhen else. They have been transported to a desert, and are found by people much shorter than them from a nearby oasis that have hunter-gatherer technology. Gradually, the twins realize they are living with Noah’s family before the time of the flood, when there are seraphim and nephilim living among the people. Noah’s family take in the twins as they recover from sunstroke. The twins fall in love with Noah’s daughter, Yalith, who is also loved by a seraphim trying to protect her, and a nephilim, who just wants Yalith to have his baby. The presence of the twins upsets the nephilim, who try to determine why the twins came. Sandy and Dennys also need to figure out how to get home before the Flood, which they do so with the help of unicorns and seraphim.

Final thoughts: Reading this book to Mr. Curiosity made me realize I’ve never read it before, which is surprising considering how much I enjoyed L’Engle’s other books. My library must not have had it. This book has a much different tone than the other Time Quartet books. I think it’s because it focused on Sandy and Dennys instead of Meg and Charles Wallace. I found this book to be appropriate for an older group than the others in the series. There was more sexual tension and sexual innuendo that I wouldn’t have been comfortable with if Mr. Curiosity had been a couple of years younger. There was a real sense of love and commitment to family throughout the book in Noah’s family to contrast what was offered by others (like the nephilim).

Overall, the book was  much more enjoyable than the summary makes it sound. As a bedtime story, I must say I had a hard time with all the names in the book, and trying to come up with different voices for all the different characters was impossible, especially for the nephilim and seraphim. I ended up with just a single nephilim and seraphim voice.

Title comes from: A phrase used in the book: “Many waters can’t quench love” which referred to the coming flood.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 35/100 in my Finally to 100 Challenge, and an L in my Author Alphabet Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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