When You Reach Me
by Rebecca Stead is an intellectual mystery of just exactly the type I adore. Its meaty, thought-provoking, warm, and wise. I love it. And it makes sense that I would, because it stands on the shoulders of A Wrinkle in Time
(1973) by Madeleine LEngle, a book Miranda devours just as I did as a child. That book has probably inspired millions of people in the 47 years since it was first published with its blend of magical science and prosaic mystery. It inspired me. I am now both a writer of childrens fantasy and a physicist. I believe that all truly great writers carry on a dialogue with each other through their works. Though they might write in solitude, they are never without the voices of the writers who have written something that spoke to them. The conversation begun by LEngle which Stead continues in When You Reach Me
Beyond the Book
Einsteins Theory of Relativity is, at its heart, about frames of reference. If I were in a dark, windowless train with no bumps that was going in one direction at a constant speed, then I would think I was standing still, but my sister on the train platform would see me speeding away from her. According to Einstein, if I then looked out the window, I would have every right to believe, in fact, that the world was speeding away behind me while I stood still. My sister, of course, would also be right that she was standing still. Hence, reality becomes relative to the frame of reference of the observer.
Time, as well, becomes relative to the observers frame of reference. This has been proven both mathematically and experimentally. One bizarre outcome of this...