Since I already own the entire series I’ll probably re-read the whole set, but man am I bummed about it. A Wrinkle in Time did not hold up on re-reading, and A Wind in the DOor positively fell apart.
The book returns to the Murry family, again conveniently without father. This time he’s merely away on government business, not kidnapped while away on government business. Charles Wallace is deathly ill, and it might be his mitochondria and farandolae. Meg must save him. But to save him, she must face three absolutely idiotic tests. She has to identify her former high school principal out of a line-up, she has to convince a farandola that it needs to grow up, and I forget the third already.
First off, I hate the mish-mash of science and religion in this book. Not that religion is always bad, or even mixing them is. But don’t mix them and then get the science wrong. Even minor details like giving chocolate to dogs are messed up. Asserting that distance just doesn’t matter is wrong. Asserting that galaxies have a death cry that can be measured is just wrong. Yes, I know it’s fantasy, but please don’t lead our youth astray without making clear that this part is fantasy! Mixing it in with the science just blurs things even more for the already ignorant.
And the theology is Cool Whip foam. Everything is connected! The deaths of galaxies is tied to the death of fictitious smaller-than-mitochondria farandolae which is causing environmental degradation and bad traffic and drug dealing in the neighborhood. If Meg Murry isn’t a good enough counter-devil for one farandola, Charles Wallace will die and Satan will kill a puppy.
Meg is just whiny. She can’t do any of the admittedly stupid tests without crying that they are impossible and nearly giving up. Half the dialogue is her just being difficult. If her character were saying
but this is just stupid and doesn’t make a plot I’d be on her side though.
The plot! Did I forget to rip that apart? That’s because there isn’t any. Meg goes out to the garden and argues with a cherubim. She cuts class and has a discussion with her principal. And then she goes to a mitochondria and then doesn’t even talk. All she does is
kythe which is some freaky deaky version of telepathy but which really means it’s just more talky talk.
If I have kids, I will never give them this series. I will take it away from them. Even more so because I loved them as a young adult. I would have been so much better off with a memory of something that was actually good.
Title: A Wind in the Door
Author: Madeleine L’Engle
Series: The Time Quintet
Imprint / publisher: Laurel Leaf / Dell
Format: Mass market paperback
Publication date: 1981