A Wind in the Door (1973) – Madeline L’Engle

This week, I dove into the second adventure of the Murry children first begun in the childhood classic (which I had never read) A Wrinkle in Time. I was curious to see where both characters and story would go as the adventure continues, so I devoured the book eagerly.

This story feels both larger and smaller than the previous adventure. The Mrs. Ws are notably absent, and young Charles Wallace, now 6, has a much tinier role this time around, thrusting Meg the teen sister into the limelight even more.

Charles comes to Meg with a story of seeing a drive of dragons out in the back pastures behind their home, and even as the two characters, later joined by Meg’s friend, Calvin, confide and share, we learn that Charles isn’t feeling well.

There is something terribly wrong with him.

Mrs. Murry, a renowned scientist, like her husband, is conducting her own investigation and is coming to a conclusion concerning her young son’s mitochondria.

In the back pasture, Meg and Calvin encounter a Teacher named Blajeny as well as a cherubrim named Proginoskes, which resembles in physical form Charles Wallace’s drive of dragons.

Blajeny informs Meg and Calvin that they are to take part in three ordeals, tests that will directly affect not only Charles Wallace but the existence of the entire galaxy.

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The Evil encountered in the first book is expanded upon with the introduction of the Ecthroi (literally meaning Enemies or The Enemy). There is definitely a sense of menace to these characters, and when they invade Meg’s life, taking on the form of Charles Wallace’s principal, Mr. Jenkins, it is a little unnerving.

The ordeals all take place on Earth this time, there is no travel to different planets, but there are different environments, as outer space gives way to inner space, and the macroscopic for the microscopic (all to show the interconnectedness of all things. Everything affects everything else).

While I like the gentle overtones of theology in this book, I love that it was more a universal sense of good versus evil as opposed to any set religion.

Meg’s character has grown from the previous book, and she definitely grows in this one she is slowly eschewing the self-doubter that she was in the first book, and still remains at the start of this story. She becomes stronger by story’s end, embracing what she has learned and becoming.

I missed Charles Wallace in this story, but the introduction of characters like the cherubrim and the farandolae within the mitochondria expanded nicely on the world(s) L’Engle created.

Where does the story go from here? Will the evil IT and the Ethroi continue their pursuit of young Charles Wallace? Will Meg grow to accept who she is and will she and Calvin finally realise how much they mean to each other?

A pleasant read, and a fun adventure. I will say this though, before I leave off. I know the story is supposedly set in the states, but the word use and descriptors the L’Engle use conjure more of an English village than smalltown America… But maybe that’s just me.

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