So, in honor of Banned Books week, I decided to post every day this week, talking about a different book that’s had an impact on me. Not necessarily books that have been banned, just ones that have left their fingerprints all over my heart.
And I know this week technically started yesterday, so I’m a day behind—whoops! Nevertheless, you’re getting 7 Days of Book Ramblings from me! I’ll try to do a double post sometime this week to catch up, so I’m not just backdating everything.
Let’s start with A Wind in the Door. The title is appropriate for a beginning. A wind in the door can signify a lot, but to me it carries the weight of something is happening, it’s time to pay attention.
A Wrinkle in Time, the first book of Madelaine L’engle’s Time Quartet, is the most well-known. But the second book is the one that stuck with me, that I reread so many times. I remember my middle school library, and checking out this book and one other (Peppermints in the Parlor, by Barbara Brooks Wallace) for Summer Reading with such frequency that the librarian once tried to coax me to check out a new book instead.
I’ve talked before about how much I identified with Meg. But I also loved the weirdly fantastical world that L’engle created, one that existed alongside and beneath the surface of our own world. In her books, beings of all species are aware of this greater reality, and exist as Teachers to guide Meg on her journey. The Teachers in this book consist of no less than a mysterious dark giant; a snake living in the woods behind Meg’s house; and the family doctor.
Meg’s journey in this book is a variation on the Fantastic Journey, where she becomes microscopically small in order to enter the cells of her sick younger brother to find out what evil force is literally destroying him from the inside out. Far from being stringently biological, L’engle paints a dreamlike picture of the world at this level, with its farandolae and mitochondria (NOT midichlorians, which is its own Star Wars kettle of fish). It is, like most things in the Time Quartet series, a spiritual journey as much as it is a literal one.
It is also a book about growing up, and about the joy of being.
I’ve read this book at least a dozen times, growing up. But it’s been a long time since I’ve cracked it open. Maybe it’s time for a reread 😉