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A Wind in the Door

by Madeleine L'Engle

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Time Quintet (2), Kairos (2)

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11,850114486 (3.92)168
With Meg Murry's help, the dragons her six-year-old brother saw in the vegetable garden play an important part in his struggle between life and death.

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I'm rereading the quintet this summer for the first time in about 20 years. While this sequel doesn't flow quite as well as Wrinkle in Time, it allowed readers to spend a good chunk of time with Meg. Meg spends the entire book worried, stressed out, and stubborn. It's a relief to come across her character each time. I still find Charles Wallace a bit too precious, but, meh... what can you do? Funnily I remember a lot of my childhood reactions to the science in this book. Well, "science". I think skimming along may actually be best for the plot. Don't get too bogged down in the pseudo-biology. ( )
  purplepaste | Feb 18, 2023 |
"There are dragons in the twins' vegetable garden." Meg Murry took her head out of the refrigerator where she had been foraging for an after-school snack and looked at her six-year-old brother. "What?"

"There are dragons in the twins' vegetable garden. Or there were. They've moved to the north pasture now."
  taurus27 | Jan 18, 2023 |
very good - Katrina
  hcs_admin | Sep 20, 2022 |
  ChelseaVK | Dec 10, 2021 |
Finding that I liked the first book in the series, I decided to pick up the second. A Wind in the Door picks up some time after the completion of the first book and starts with the precocious young Charles Wallace reporting to his older sister that there are dragons in their twin brother's vegetable garden.

This second book is filled with the same mix of fantasy and science, fable, and religious references as the first. But it is a darker tale than the first book, and as such, is not really as suitable for a younger audience as its predecessor. Charles Wallace is ill, and in fact as the story develops it becomes clearer that his life is in real danger. It falls to Meg, Calvin, and the unlikeable principal of their grade school Mr Jenkins, to work through another adventurous battle between good and evil so that they can not only save poor Charles Wallace but also right the balance of the universe.

This adventure is structured as a series of lessons as laid out in an education from an unlikely creature who it turns out isn't a dragon but rather a cherubim. Yes, there are lessons to be learned and they can only be learned through journeying deep into Charles Wallace's cells to turn back the evil Echthros that threaten his life.

If the world and the epic journey of A Wrinkle in Time seem timeless and the main parable of the story broadly applicable, the same can't be said for A Wind in the Door. The references to the work of the Murry children's father seem to tie the story to the 1970s, and in fact the book was published in 1973. And the theme of the book - the cosmic struggle between good and evil - is tied to the acts of naming and counting, to allow things to be, just as God is said to have numbered every hair on our heads, and to be aware of the fate of even the lowly sparrows. Thus the book is more closely tied to a Christian understanding, and L'Engle's own religious beliefs, than was the first book.

Perhaps it's because of that that this story comes across as a bit too preachy to me. Also, structuring the story as a set of lessons didn't really seem to spring out of the story itself but rather seemed a writerly crutch. Altogether I wasn't as taken with this book as I was with A Wrinkle in Time. So for that reason I give A Wind in the Door Three Stars ⭐⭐⭐. ( )
  stevesbookstuff | Nov 2, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 114 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Madeleine L'Engleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ehle, JenniferNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, Jody A.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Linden, Vincent van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sis, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yoo, TaeeunCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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“What, nephew,” said the king, “is the wind in that door?” — Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur
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“There are dragons in the twins’ vegetable garden.”
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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With Meg Murry's help, the dragons her six-year-old brother saw in the vegetable garden play an important part in his struggle between life and death.

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