Featured Book: A Wind in the Door (1973)

Rather than talking about the more widely renowned A Wrinkle in Time (1962), I wanted to take a moment and appreciate its sequel, A Wind in the Door. I love the first three books in Madeleine L’Engle‘s Time Quintet and feel sad I never experienced these books as a child. I didn’t read them until I was in my mid-twenties. 

These books bring together a profound conglomeration or collection of seemingly incoherent ideologies. They mix principles of faith and God with scientific theories and facts.

Synopsis:

A Wind in the Door takes place a few years after A Wrinkle In Time. Charles Wallace, a child with extraordinary gifts, goes to school and becomes the target of bullying and misunderstandings. Meg, his older sister, feels helpless and unable to fix it for him. Soon, strange things start happening. Charles Wallace claims to have seen a dragon, sinister evil creatures called Ecthroi start appearing, and Charles Wallace falls seriously ill. Meg, their friend Calvin and a cherubim come together to defeat this evil and save Charles Wallace. 

My Thoughts and Feelings:

I can’t find the right words to really express what this story truly is. On one hand, it is a book about a young girl learning to love and forgive others. On the other hand, it has everything to do with the entire makeup of the universe.

This book makes me ponder my place in the universe, how I myself am a galaxy to my cells and particles. It also makes me ponder the power one individual can have on the entire world. I learned there are no unneeded people on this earth. I also strongly wondered how my choices can change generations of history.

I love how Madeleine L’Engle depicts and confronts evil in her stories. She deftly shows we have the power to overcome it. In her book A Wind in the Door, the Echthroi’s ultimate goal was to destroy or X a person or thing’s very being. It encouraged selfish behavior, living for an infinitesimal fleeting moment rather than deepening or grounding one’s self onto a righteous path, and succumbing to despair and self-loathing. They were at the root of war, especially within every being. 

Though there were the Echthroi, there were also good people and beings willing to fight and stand against them. And that is how it is in our world.

Other themes and important concepts include:

  1. I “the individual” matters in the universe.
  2. Everything is infinitely connected.
  3. Evil tries its hardest to destroy everything about who we are.
  4. Love is the most powerful force in the world.
  5. Progression and change are not limited to the young.
  6. Intelligence without compassion is an empty thing.

I recommend this story and others from the trilogy to any wishing to change their ways of thinking about themselves and their place in the universe. As L’Engle showed, science and religion can dance beautifully together if given the right music and lyrics.

Favorite Quotes:

There are still stars which move in ordered and beautiful rhythm. There are still people in this world who keep promises. Even little ones, like your cooking stew over your Bunsen burner. You may be in the middle of an experiment, but you still remember to feed your family. That’s enough to keep my heart optimistic, no matter how pessimistic my mind. And you and I have good enough minds to know how very limited and finite they really are. The naked intellect is an extraordinarily inaccurate instrument.

A Wind in the Door, Madeleine L’Engle

If someone knows who he is, really knows, then he doesn’t need to hate. That’s why we still need Namers, because there are places throughout the universe like your planet Earth. When everyone is really and truly Named, then the Echthroi will be vanquished.

A Wind in the Door, Madeleine L’Engle

The temptation for farandola or for man or for star is to stay an immature pleasure-seeker. When we seek our own pleasure as the ultimate good we place ourselves as the center of the universe. A fara or a man or a star has his place in the universe, but nothing created is the center.

A Wind in the Door, Madeline L’Engle

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