Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Challenge: A Book You Can Finish in a Day

Book: The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli
Pages: 121
Date Read: 1/19/15
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ 

Other Categories this book could 
have fit into:
A book that made you cry - I mentioned before, I cry in everything
A book by an author you've never read before - I'd like to find more of her work
A book set during Christmas - only the last scene, but that scene was incredibly Christmasy; it didn't just happen to take place at Christmas, instead that holiday was very relevant
For reading is another door in the wall.
Before I start on my actual review, I would like to take a moment to express just how much I hate the cover art of this book. There are plenty of other editions, but the pictured one is the one I have, and it makes this book look comical and stupid and it frustrates me. That's all. If you ever see this book lying around, just remember the old cliché about judging books by their covers.

Those grievances aside, I will say that I loved everything about this story. I was just thinking sadly the other day that there are no books with invalids as the protagonist, and then I happened to pick up this beautiful little book. As a bed-ridden invalid, I found this story incredibly inspiring.
"Fret not, my son. None of us is perfect. It is better to have crooked legs than a crooked spirit. We can only do the best we can with what we have. That, after all, is the measure of success: what we do with what we have."
Amazingly, this book didn't feel preachy. It is a very moral book, I won't deny, but because the events came about naturally it never felt didactic. It just felt like everyone in the story was trying to do the best they could, and as they encouraged each other they encouraged me, too. In a longer book I might have found it annoying, but this book is the perfect length for a story of its kind.

The characters are just wonderful. Everyone is nice, even the one bad guy we talk to. Which sounds absolutely ridiculous and boring, but it really worked. It's a very happy, safe place to go -- which is something I appreciate on my bad days.

The quotes I collected from this book are things I needed to hear. Maybe it's just my particular stage in life that makes this book so beautiful to me, but I really adored everything about it.
"Each of us has his place in the world. If we cannot serve in one way, there is always another. If we do what we are able, a door always opens to something else."
I would recommend this book to those who are discouraged, or simply need a place of refuge. If you want a book with little external conflict, but regular people who are trying to get through daily struggles (well, and plague, and there is actually a siege at one point...) then I definitely recommend this little book. It's heavily historical, but, again, lets things come out through the story instead of beating you over the head with it. It's just a simple, beautiful little book and I love it to bits.


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