Yes it is a melodramatic opening line. But I loved it!
Why was it challenged? It was challenged to references to witches (there weren’t witches) and the author’s liberal Christianity in equating Christ with artists, philosophers and the like.
The story introduces us to Meg Murray and her brother Charles Wallace who are exceptionally talented children who are as one would expect socially awkward. They have a set of “normal” brothers Sandy and Dennys (pronounced Dennis). They are the children of two brilliant scientists. Their father has been away on some sort of scientific mission for at least a year. In addition to dealing with typical problems at school, the children also have to cope with people believing that their father has left them. Recently Meg has made friends with Calvin O’Keefe who is a boy from a dysfunctional family.
On the dark and stormy night in question three transcendental beings arrive- Mrs. Which, Whatisit, and Who. The assure Mrs. Murray that there reallly is a tesserect- space folding. The rest of the story details Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin’s adventure to rescue Meg’s father.
As one can determine from the story, these beings are angels. The children discover that evil is real and tangible and that there is a battle going on and that they have important parts to play in the upcoming struggle.
This book is rated
I liked it when I read it as a child. Sure the theology is off but really it is science fiction. In fact that blend of science fiction and religion is very similar to the Out of the Silent Planet series by C.S. Lewis. It’s definitely one you should purchase for your children.