Madeleine L'Engle
An Acceptable Time
1989

from the dustjacket:

When Polly O'Keefe visits her grandparents in Connecticut, she plans a quiet fall, filled with study and frequent forays to the star-watching rock. A welcome diversion comes from Bishop Colubra, an old family friend, who is fascinated by the ancient hieroglyphics on stones found in the area. And a pleasant surprise is the appearance of Zachary Gray, the boy Polly had met in Greece the previous summer.

Zachary's sudden appearance is only the beginning of a series of events which turn Polly's quiet visit into an extraordinary one. While out walking, she encounters several strangers who are mysteriously compelling: Karralys, a tall, blue-eyed man who, Polly discovers, is a druid; Anaral, a beautiful young woman and a disciple of Karralys; and Tav, a fearless warrior. They all come from a society that existed three thousand years ago!

What seemed to be coincidences are gradually revealed as part of a pattern, an overlapping of planes of time. The bishop's research and Zachary's arrival are somehow related to the opening of a time gate which draws Polly into this ancient world. Traveling across the millennia to play a crucial role in a prehistoric confrontation, Polly discovers that time means everything and nothing in the history of human relationships, and, finally, that love is the tie that binds.

Madeleine L'Engle

once again explores the fluidity of time and the permanence of essential human values in An Acceptable Time. She is the author of the Newbery Award winner A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters. She lives in New York City and Goshen, Connecticut.

Jacket illustration 1989
by Charles Mikolaycak