I was quite fond of L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time as a child, though as an adult, I couldn’t remember which book it was that I read that had those elements in the story that I loved. I remembered scenes and images I’d created in my mind, but couldn’t remember what book it came from.
While working on a “New Realms” display, I was recommended by my boss to include A Wrinkle in Time. That sparked a memory and a nagging feeling that this was the book that contained the vague elements I remembered.
I then decided to reread it, and discovered that the book was the book that I had been searching for and that is part of a quintet series! Imagine my excitement! Thus my L’Engle Flamingle officially began.
My brief review of A Wrinkle in Time can be found under my ‘Battle of the Books Results’ post (yet to be posted).
So here I’ll start with A Wind in the Door: 3.5 stars.
Meg and Calvin meet a cherubim, Proginoskes, and go on another epic journey, but this time to save Charles Wallace from being Xed (extinguished, or killed) by the Echthros (Monsters of Nothingness). Accompanied by Mr. Jenkins, the unlikely quartet finds themselves inside one of Charles Wallaces mitochondrion where they try to convince Sporos, a farandolae (a being that lives in mitochondria) to mature and help the mitochondria to survive. In the end, Progo sacrifices himself to save everyone else and Charles Wallace lives.
“The Echthroi are those who hate, those who would keep you from being Named, who would un-Name you. It is the nature of love to create. It is the nature of hate to destroy.”
After starting A Wind in the Door, several of questions came to mind that I believe were left unanswered from A Wrinkle in time. Such as “What the hell exactly happened? Did IT get vanquished? Does the darkness still cover Earth? Did I overlook an entire explanation? Also, what the heck happened to the Echthroi?”
I am still confused about these questions, though I do believe Earth is still covered in darkness due to the presence of the Echthros, but if anybody can provide me with some clarity, PLEASE comment and give my confused brain some resolution.
Throughout this section of the Murray’s life, I honed in on the fact that Meg is incapable of making decisions and handling situations on her own unless it is literally life or death. I am annoyed. In A Wrinkle in Time she expected her Father to fix all the problems, and in the mean time, Calvin. Now, in A Wind in the Door, she still depends on Calvin, is upset that her father can’t handle it for her since he’s on a business trip, tries to depend on Teacher to do everything, then clings to Progo. Talk about falling into the weak female stereotype. I understand she’s a terrified child, but nonetheless, I am annoyed by her character.
On a more positive side note, I love the Osmosis Jones vibes that L’Engle creates while Progo, Meg, Calvin, and Mr. Jenkins are inside of Charles Wallace’s cells trying to save his life.
I also love the mention of Calvin’s science experiment involving plants and love. The concept it simple, 3 plants, 1 placed in a horrible negative environment, it inevitably dies. The next placed in a neutral environment and given the basic necessities to live, it lives, but doesn’t thrive. The third is placed in a neutral environment, given the necessities, but is also spoken too, encouraged, and this plant thrives and grows above and beyond. This gives way to the belief that love and encouragement are the root of all.
Lastly, I found L’Engle’s ending quite appropriate. In wondering where Progo has gone after sacrificing himself to save Meg, Calvin, Charles Wallace, and Mr. Jenkins, a huge gust of wind comes through the door, blowing it open. I guess guardian angels really do exist, huh?