The Wind in the Wall is a dark, moody and mysterious, fairy-tale from award-winning author Sally Gardner. As the words on the back cover warn, “Be careful what you wish for…”
Told from the perspective of the ‘prisoner’, he recounts how he has come to find himself trapped within the walls. There was a time when the man was a gardener to the Duke of Northumberland, they bonded over a shared love of the amaryllis. But then the pineapple appeared on the English mainland and so began a battle to produce the perfect specimen. The gardener resented the garish fruit and found it impossible to grow.
Frustrated with the failures, the Duke enlisted a stranger who claimed he could charm the wretched fruit. Convinced that the new arrival is a charlatan, the gardener set out to prove the fraud and it is this that would see him make the most untimely of wishes.
The Wind in the Wall will hold readers in its grip from start to finish. Sally Gardener’s prose feel poetic…”I long to be washed away in language, not sprinkled with meaningless sentences,” and the brushstrokes of Rovina Cai create haunting and stunning images that add to the fairytale feel of the story.
You really feel for the prisoner, having lost his wife and child to fever he is then set a seemingly impossible task of growing the, “cursed, scaly dragon eggs,” that he loathes. His passion and the happiness that he finds in growing the amaryllis is taken away from him. And his resentment at the new arrival sees him pushed to breaking point and ultimately ends with him trapped in the walls with the endless…”tap, tap, tap.”
This is very much a cautionary tale and readers be warned, there is no happy ending.
Recommended for 9+.