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|A Wind in the Door
by Madeleine L'Engle
Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1973
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Highly Recommended by: Ross Pavlac
Further adventures of the children from A Wrinkle in Time.
A Wind in the Door is a sequel to A Wrinkle in Time, in which Meg Murry, her young brother Charles Wallace, and a boy from her school named Calvin rescue Meg and Charles Wallace's father from the forces of evil on a distant planet. This time, it is Charles Wallace who is in jeopardy, as the mitochondria in his cells are dying off, due to something going wrong with the farandolae which power them. At the same time, stars in distant galaxies are being mysteriously extinguished. Meg and Charles Wallace's mother the biologist has only recently proven the existence of farandolae, and their father the physicist has only recently discovered the mysterious disappearance of the stars, so the dinner table conversation covers both topics, at the extreme ends of the distance scales which human beings can comprehend. It seems impossible for two phenomena so different in size can possibly be related, but Meg feels certain that, somehow, they are. Once again, Meg and Calvin are whisked away by mysterious figures. They have three challenges that they must face in order to save Charles Wallace, and the galaxy, from the Echthroi.
Just as in the earlier book, there is an underlying theme of the battle between good and evil. The battles which Meg, particularly, must win cannot be won by force, but rather spiritual means. It is only by getting her mind and heart into the right place that she can win through. But this story is not simply a story of good battling evil. It is rooted in Christian theology. Granted, that might not be immediately apparent to the casual reader. For one thing, different names in this work kept me reaching for my Greek-English lexicon, which is not something most people keep on their shelves. For another thing, L'Engle uses visual imagery which is different from traditional representations. (As an example, Proginoskes might not look like anything you would find in a religious painting, but should be familiar to anyone who has read Ezekiel.) Greg Slade (December, 2004)
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