Yup, the L'Engle dads get their turn in this series. (In other words, Alex Murry is next.)
Wally Austin is a mild-mannered country doctor with a large, active family -- and just a touch of a Clark Kent-mystique vibe, thanks to this line that gets thrown out in The Moon by Night and then never developed:
"Daddy was a black belt in Judo before any of us was ever born."There's also the bit where he trades in GP-ing for a year in New York, doing research that turns out to have huge organized crime/international/moral/biological implications, but that doesn't actually get much attention outside The Young Unicorns.
- Bears a passing resemblance to Ward Cleaver. To be fair, the Austin books were written over a period of 30 or 40 years, and his more objectionable attitudes aren't around in the later books. That said, he still doesn't get a pass for objecting to women who wear pants.
- Excellent sense of humor. Because how can you not admire a guy who'll dress up as his own (nonexistent) butler just for the purpose of messing with his brother's girlfriend?
- Serious family values. This is a guy who will relocate the whole family for the summer to be with his ailing father-in-law. It's not just the nuclear family that matters here.
- "He was old-fashioned enough to have given his seat to an elderly woman and modern enough to make sure that it was she and not somebody else who got it."
- "... could always concentrate better with a pencil or pen in his fingers"