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Many Waters
Idk cover
Author Madeleine L'Engle
Cover artist Charles Mikolaycak
Country United States
Language English
Series Time Quintet
Genre young adult, Fantasy novel
Publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication date
September 1, 1986
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 351 pp
ISBN 0-374-34796-4
OCLC 13823586
[Fic] 19
LC Class PZ7.L5385 Man 1986
Preceded by A Swiftly Tilting Planet 
Followed by An Acceptable Time 

Many Waters is a 1986 novel by Madeleine L'Engle, part of the author's Time Quintet (also known as the Time Quartet). The title is taken from the Song of Solomon 8:7: "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it. If a man were to give all his wealth for love, it would be utterly scorned."

The principal characters of the story are Sandy and Dennys Murry, twin brothers who are somewhat out of place in the context of the multifarious and eccentric Murry family from A Wrinkle in Time. The action of the story follows that of A Wind in the Door but precedes the climactic, apocalyptic event in A Swiftly Tilting Planet.

Plot summary

In the middle of a New England winter, identical twin brothers Sandy and Dennys accidentally disturb an experiment in their parents' laboratory and are teleported to a sandy desert. There, they are acquired by water-prospector 'Japheth' and guided to an oasis, but Dennys is separated from the others. Sandy remains with Japheth and his elderly grandfather Lamech; there, Sandy is cured of heatstroke by a variety of improbable beings, including seraphim.

Dennys reappears in another tent and is thrown into a refuse heap. He later comes under the care of a friendly family in the center of the oasis, headed by a gruff but kindly patriarch called Noah. It soon becomes apparent that the boys have been interpolated into the story of Noah's Ark, shortly before the Flood. Both Noah and Lamech receive mysterious instructions from God (known as El) concerning the building of the Ark. The twins come to understand that unicorns who can traverse space and time live in the oasis. Sinister supernatural beings known as the nephilim distrust the twins, and their human wives attempt to gather information about them. At several points, the wife of a nephil unsuccessfully attempts to seduce Sandy.

Separated for much of the book, the twins become more independent of each other and gain maturity over the course of a year in the desert. Both are in love with Noah's beautiful and virtuous daughter Yalith (and she with them), but neither twin declares his affection until the very end of the novel. Dennys convinces Noah to reconcile with his father, Lamech, and both twins eventually care for Lamech's gardens while he lies ill. After Lamech's death, Sandy is kidnapped, but is eventually found by Japheth. Suspense arises when it becomes clear that there is no place on the Ark reserved for Sandy, Dennys, or Yalith. After both twins assist in the construction of the Ark, Yalith is taken by the seraphim to the presence of El. Sandy and Dennys are then returned to their own time and place by unicorns summoned by the seraphim.

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