The Door in the Tree–William Corlett

This is the second in the Magician’s House Quartet, a series I found through Corlett’s book about a gay couple who move into a small, rural English neighborhood.  Oh, the places we go!

The Constant children are back to the Golden House on spring holiday.  Before two full days pass they are entering the bodies of animals and talking to time-traveling wizards again.  Alice, the youngest, is frustrated with William and Mary, her older siblings who are having a hard time accepting that their previous experiences were real.  A major theme, with which Corlett beats one around the head, is that if we think too hard, magic can’t happen.  We have to just let it be, live in the moment, pay attention to our surroundings.  There’s also a strong animal-rights theme involving some badger baiters.  Even little Alice starts to think vegetarian Phoebe might be onto something.

Corlett just does not seem to be a writer who knows children.  Alice, Mary, and William don’t quite ring true.  The lessons are too heavy-handed and yet shallow.  This contradiction reminds me of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series, but with less doctrinal clarity.  What I don’t understand is how this series made it into a BBC series.

At the same time, I’m intrigued just enough to finish reading the two remaining books in the series in order to see the grand plan–and I’ve already bought them from Thriftbooks.

Finished 4/16/12


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