1950: The Door in the Wall


Sally’s Rating: 2/5

In The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli, a young boy’s dreams of being a knight are dashed when the bubonic plague leaves him crippled and bedridden. Luckily, he gets swept up in an adventure with a monk and minstrel and finds himself in the middle of a Welsh battle.

The main character, Robin, mopes around a lot. While its justified, since he just became handicapped, it makes for a slow and unengaging read.  The plot and conflict lacked high stakes, and Robin does not have a certain determination and perseverance that is common in other children’s protagonists. Much of the book follows the typical coming of age tropes of struggle and acceptance, where he must learn to live with his disability.

The pace picks up when the Welsh attack the English town, prompting Robin to take some heroic steps and save the day. The ending was a bit too clean for me, and everything came together too easily.

The Door in the Wall was an unoriginal take on a plot that has been done numerous times. The narrative never gets the heart racing, and it was tough to keep reading since nothing captured my attention throughout the book. I would recommend that this book be skipped over in favor of another standard fantasy or medieval age books.


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