Troubling a Star by Madeleine L’Engle
This is the last of the Austin family series, and I was excited to conclude, but also regretful that my journey had ended. I was glad to see that Adam Eddington had returned and—more importantly—that Zachary had not. I was interested to see how Vicky’s questions about life would be continued in this book.
Vicky and Adam have continued their correspondence as something more than friends, though they are separated by circumstance and distance. Adam’s great-aunt Serena has befriended Vicky and taken on a sort of mentoring role. Adam has taken on an internship that will bring him to Antarctica, and Aunt Serena has offered Vicky a gift: a chance to join him there. Then, she receives postcards warning her not to go, and then Adam’s behavior in letters becomes strange, distant, and cold. But nothing will deter Vicky, just as nothing can truly warn her about the danger that she faces when she arrives.
This book differs from L’Engle’s others, in that she switches from one point in time to flashbacks. The first vignette finds Vicky stranded on an iceberg, so we know that something bad has already happened. We get moments of the iceberg scene interpolated with backstory, so that you have a real sense of the suspense that’s unfolding. It’s effective—I read quickly and frantically in order to find out what had really happened. The story about the changing ecology of our earth is also effective. Climate change is real, and it has sobering consequences for the whole planet. While not my favorite, this book is also absolutely worth a read. I highly recommend it.