In this sequel to The Language of Sand, lexicographer Abigail Harker is back. While she still hasnít recovered from the horrible death of her husband and son in a fire, she has found some peace on Chapel Isle. Though she is bothered that the locals have not fully accepted her as one of them, she keeps to herself in the lighthouse caretakerís cottage. But when summer comes to Chapel Isle and the tourists flood the small town, Abigail finds that the visitors have brought trouble. Treasure hunters seek the ruins of a ship that wrecked off the coast of Chapel Isle, and rumor has it that the key to the exact location of the shipwreck is hidden somewhere in Abigailís cottage. As the heat, locals, tourists, and attempted break-ins begin to overwhelm Abigail, will she flee and let her past overwhelm her, or will she make a stand and put down roots in Chapel Isle?
Though The Definition of Wind supposedly picks up close after The Language of Sand left off, it seems as though Abigail has regressed emotionally. By the end of the first book, it seemed that Abigail had made some real progress toward healing, and while she will never be able to completely let go of her husband and son, she had realized she was allowed to start a new life and find enjoyment in it. That progress seems to have disappeared at the beginning of The Definition of Wind. As a result, Abigail can be frustrating in this novel. Her constant references to her husband, while sympathetic and understandable, are puzzling and frustrating in light of the advances she made in the first book.
Once again, readers are treated to the quirky personalities that live on Chapel Isle, and they are the highlight of the book. Itís heartwarming how many of them reach out a hand to help Abigail, even as she is prickly towards them. Her anger at her landlord is justified, especially considering the state of the caretakerís cottage when Abigail moved in, so itís difficult to understand why Abigail chooses to work for her, but it certainly makes for some amusing antics. It also helps Abigail to see that she is stronger and more resourceful than she realizes, positive reinforcement that she really needs over the course of the book.
Though Abigail can be frustrating, in the end The Definition of Wind is a heartwarming follow-up to The Language of Sand. Readerís can easily forgive Abigailís difficulties as they remember her painful past. Though the residents of Chapel Isle are an intriguing and appealing bunch, it would be nice to see Block venture somewhere else for her next novel, as it seems that Abigailís story is finished.