Many Waters
Madeleine L'Engle

Murray Family #4
Category: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Morality: A-
Writing: B+

In this book, 15-year-old twins Sandy and Dennys Murry, previously known as the ordinary members of their otherwise extraordinary family, find themselves involved in an adventure of their own after they inadvertently mess around with an experiment-in-progress of their father’s. Sandy and Dennys find themselves in an antediluvian world, and are soon caught up in a plot involving Noah and his family, as well as angelic beings and mythical creatures.

This book is respectful to the Biblical story, and offers what I found very appealing portrayals of the seraphim, angels who have ‘accepted being chosen’ to serve El (the book’s term for God) on earth. Also involved in the plot are the nephilim, the “sons of God” of Genesis 6:1-4, who are portrayed as fallen angels. They are still powerful and beautiful, but subtly sinister, and have lost many of the gifts and abilities of the seraphim, including the power of choice. The book also treats favorably with Christian themes such as Providence, the universality of fallen human nature, and most notably God’s justice (the judgment of the Flood tempered with mercy for those who have faith). Although not explicitly Christian, the book certainly is favorable to Christianity.

The book is well-written. It is mostly driven by dialogue, and occasionally toward the beginning the dialogue was forced, as the characters told each other what they already knew for the benefit of the reader. However, this problem quickly resolved itself. I appreciated the book’s uniformity of pace; it kept my interest consistently without ever rushing.

Content-wise, the book is definitely for teens. There is a fair amount of sexuality in it — much of the plot revolves around the nephilim’s seduction of the “daughters of men” (taken from the Biblical account), and there are other ‘sexually aware’ bits as well. However, it is all tastefully treated and not made in the least explicit, and love within marriage is lauded while extra-marital lust is portrayed as wrong.

Posted by Sasha | May 4, 2003

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