Dear Madeleine L’Engle,
I write this with the knowledge that you will never be able to read this.
When I learned in 2007 that you passed away, my world stopped for a second. Then it spun back to the moment when I first held a book you wrote. While most of your fans have started with your most famous book, A Wrinkle in Time, I did not. Frankly, I was ignorant of the fact that the book I held was even included in a series. All I was certain of was that, if I bought that book, I would find myself in the company of blonde twins and angels during the pre-diluvian; all that was enough for Many Waters to be sold.
“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it. If a man were to give all his wealth for love, it would be utterly scorned.” Song of Solomon 8:7, King James Version.
Your book made me curious about that particular verse, causing me to read the whole chapter, and eventually the whole book. But that wasn’t the only effect it had on me. The cavalcade of seraphim and nephilim introduced me to the world of angelology, symbology, and numerous Christian legends. And I thought only the secular world had folklore.
Probably, I would’ve completed the Time Quintet. But disaster struck.
A particularly strong storm passed through the metro. It damaged the roof of our house and water found its way from the walls to the shelf. My copy of A Wrinkle in Time bears the mark of many waters. And the damage was discovered too late to save it. So now, its pages can no longer be turned.
Many Waters was saved from the storm. And I wish it could’ve remained safe. A friend borrowed some of my books for book report season; I gave her at least 10 books, including Many Waters. Two semesters after, I asked that she return them. Not only were they not in her room but she lent them to a friend of hers without telling me. Not one book of mine I lent her found its way back to me. I believe that it was that incident that made me skeptical about lending anything – specially books – to friends. That’s also why I don’t have a photo of it.
I remembered you again this year when I came across the news that Oprah Winfrey has been cast as Mrs. Which for the second movie adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. I remembered what I learned from your books and the related books. And I remembered what happened to my books.
Frankly, I don’t think I’ll ever complete the Time Quintet. But, for what it’s worth, what I read was good.
Thank you for writing all those novels.