I read on a friend's blog tonight that Madeleline L'Engle died last Thursday. She has been a literary hero of mine from the day I read her most famous children's book, A Wrinkle In Time. Just read the first page, and I'll say you'll be hooked.
Monica Hesse of the Washington Post.com wrote today, "'A Wrinkle in Time' was not the sort of book you were assigned in school; with its New Testament quotations and witchy supporting characters it was at once too Christian and too blasphemous. It was the sort of book you discovered on your own, shelved as it was in the big kids' section, and that you read ferociously into the night with a mug of Swiss Miss -- a replica of Meg's homemade cocoa." So true.
But it was not her children's books alone that caught my imagination. Her books on the biblical stories like A Stone for a Pillow added life and thought to dusty characters I had long left in darkened Sunday School rooms. She stretched my theology and sensitivities, but always left me with hope that truth is timeless.
My favorite book of hers next to the Time Quintet is A Live Coal in the Sea. The novel is an intricate weaving of the main character's past and a faith that claims God's grace is capable of covering all the hurts and sins of the past. You'll have to read to find/experience the quote from which the title comes.
The beauty of admiring an author is that you have her with you as long as you pick up her books.