Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Back of the North Wind: an audio drama based on the story by George MacDonald

Cover image for At the back of the North WindLittle Diamond lives with his father, who is a carriage driver, and his mother in early Victorian England.  One night Diamond hears a voice at a knothole in the wall of his attic bedroom.  It is the voice of the North Wind, who befriends Diamond and takes him on magical journeys. During one journey he meets a poor flower girl and on another, a goodhearted rich man.  His interactions with the North Wind, who is portrayed as a kindly woman, make him wise and compassionate.  He comes to understand that when people die, they go to the back of the North Wind to a kind of paradise.  This knowledge helps him face his own failing health and impending death without sorrow.

This is a radio play produced for Focus on the Family.  It is performed with full cast, sound effects and an original music sound track.  It is an odd story.  Often the North Wind is portrayed as a menacing character, and even in this story she has to go out at one point and sink a ship.  Half way through the story I still couldn't tell if she was like the White Witch in Narnia, pretending to be kind, all the while ensnaring the boy in her trap.  But no, she really is kind and helps him and others repeatedly throughout the story. MacDonald was a Calvinist minister and the story is dripping with Christian imagery.  I am not sure if I enjoyed it. It felt one party moralistic, one part sentimental, and one part creepy.(2 CD's)


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