Madeleine L’Engle is an author I believe I will enjoy all my life. I was introduced to her through a devotional book called Glimpses of Grace. It was on our resource table at a seminar I did. One day I was bored, so I picked up the book and flipped through it. I was hooked. I bought it and used it as my devotional guide for several years. It opened my soul to the presence of God, ignited something new inside me, and caused me to think in a different and delightful way. The book is made up of excerpts from L’Engle’s various works. She was a prolific author.
The first book of hers that I read was chosen because I so enjoyed the excerpts in the devotional book. It was titled A Circle of Quiet. My family made fun of me for reading it because it wasn’t some kind of romance novel and it took me quite awhile to work through it. The ideas she presented were so new and fresh and beautiful to me that I didn’t want to miss anything. She writes about truly being yourself, what that means, and how to find out what makes you come alive. She writes about not being embarrassed by who we are and the things we are gifted to do – how to accept our own creativity and joy. I didn’t agree with everything she wrote, but I loved the parts I did agree with so much that I couldn’t get enough. A Circle of Quiet is the first book in the Crosswicks Journal Series. I went on to read the entire series and thoroughly enjoyed them.
She wrote her first novel as a young woman and out of curiosity, I read that. It’s titled A Small Rain. It was fascinating and moving. When she was much older, she wrote a sequel to it titled A Severed Wasp. I immediately purchased that book and read it as soon as I was finished with the first one. Her books are life-changing in the way she uses stories to present ideas and concepts. I am forever changed by the stories she tells. For example, she writes of a long-term marriage and the love between the two people. There’s nothing easy about their love for one another and it takes work every single day. They make interesting compromises and struggle with terrible challenges, but they work it out every day. How much different than our fairy tales that tell us “they lived happily ever after,” yet you never get the idea that her characters aren’t basically happy people with real lives.
She wrote the popular children’s book A Wrinkle in Time. I read that as an adult and devoured the other three books in the series that came after it. I can’t wait to read them to my own children one day. They are creative and imaginative and wild. Space and time travel, other creatures, and stories that present truth to children – what can be better than that?
She has a book on writing titled Madeleine L’Engle Herself, which is another collection of excerpts from her writings and lectures. It is full of advice on how to become a writer and the writing process. I read a little bit here and there and have been working on it for a few years. I love how she has encouraged and shaped me as a writer.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed her book of poetry titled The Ordering of Love. She writes religious poetry, love poems, and many other types of poems. She uses words in such an amazing way, you can read her poems over and over and still find new and wonderful things in them. There are poems about her husband that take my breath away.
Tonight I was looking at amazon.com and imagining buying all her books now so I’ll have them when I’m ready to read them. I already have a few that I haven’t had a chance to read yet. I decided not to buy them all up now, but to wait and get them here and there until I have all of them. I can’t imagine anything that she’s written that I wouldn’t thoroughly enjoy. You all really ought to check her out. She’s amazing.