A Wind in the Door
by Madeleine L’Engle
- Pages: 240
- ISBN: 0312368542
- Link: Goodreads
- Format: Paperback
- Published on: May 1st 2007 (first published 1973)
- Published by: Square Fish
Set about a year after A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind In the Door follows Meg Murry and Calvin O’Keefe on a quest to save Meg’s brother, Charles Wallace. Charles Wallace has a medical condition that the medical field hasn’t yet learned how to treat. In the second novel of Madeleine L’Engle’s Time quintet, Meg and Calvin team up with a Cherubim named Proginoskes and Mr. Jenkins – the school principle who hates both Meg and Charles Wallace – to go deep inside Charles Wallace to defeat the Echthroi.
In some ways, the plot of A Wind In the Door reminds me of A Wrinkle in Time: we’re introduced to new creatures who attempt to explain new concepts that neither the human characters nor the reader understand. This information is then used to help rescue a loved one. What’s different this time is that instead of traveling to far away planets, the characters travel into a single cell inside Charles Wallace’s body. A Wind in the Door reminds us that the universe is not only vast, but different sized creatures have different concepts of what constitutes the universe.
What I liked about A Wind in the Door was the points made about naming things. Proginoskes had a previous task of naming all the stars in existence. As Progo explains to Meg, if something has a name, it has a distinct identity. The Echthroi are dangerous because their goal is to take away someone’s identity; without an identity, the being essentially falls into nothingness. I also was amused by the fact that Mr. Jenkins is never given a first name during the course of the book. He is always “Mr. Jenkins.” It reminded me of how when some people in elementary school, they assume all their teachers’ first names are things like “Mr.”, “Mrs.” or “Ms.” At least, that’s what people tell me. I spent several of my elementary school years at a school where we called our teachers by their first names. If anything, I was surprised to learn that my teachers had surnames. So when Meg “named” Mr. Jenkins, thereby distinguishing him from the fake Echthroi Mr. Jenkins, I wondered if that meant Mr. Jenkins no longer had a first name.
In short, while I enjoyed A Wrinkle in Time more, I still liked A Wind In The Door.