Tr itibaren Las Cayeras, Arauca, Arauca, Kolombiya
The whole time I read this book I wished it was as good as The Devil in the White City. It made some interesting points about books as carriers of culture (making me think of Fahrenheit 451 very often), and at times I was really interested in the characters, but it ended up making the same points far too often for me to love it.
Once again, I am in awe of Madeleine L'Engle. She has a knack for writing parable-esque stories that are thrilling, compelling, and completely original. This story deals with the Ecthroi, a group of beings who only exist to cause things to be Xed (X-ing is causing something to be void, to cease to exist.) The reality of these awful beings is brought home to the main character, Meg, when her younger brother, Charles Wallace, is taken ill. His condition is caused by Ecthroi that have disrupted the rhythm of his mitochondria. Farandolae, according to L'Engle, are what cause the mitochondria to continue functioning and producing energy, but they are being convinced by the Echthroi that they don't need to participate in keeping the cell alive. Personal freedom (that is, freedom to die) has been placed at the center of their lives, and it seems that Charles Wallace will die unless Meg, a cherub, and two friends, can help the Farandolae within remember why a Name is essential. I will leave it to you to read all the specifics. I can't summarize very well with this stuff. Reading books like this makes me so jealous. How can Madeleine L'Engle make the issues of life and death, belief and unbelief, identity and non-identity, so incredibly clear? In this story, we become attached to the characters, we see what they're thinking, and we imagine what we would do in their situation. And, speaking for myself, I have to look at the book and literally be awestruck by the magnificence of what I've read. L'Engle has a great gift for making us care about questions that, in any other context, we avoid. Many people without my Christian faith will have read this book, and it will still make them think about the questions that matter: Is there some great scheme out there that I'm trying to avoid? Am I placing myself at the center of my universe and causing myself to die? Am I giving in to lies from Echthroi-like things? I love this book. Discovering what is in a name, whether distance or size matters, and learning to love those you never thought possible are things I want to keep thinking about. On to the next book!