Charlotte Jones Voiklis, L’Engle’s youngest granddaughter and literary executor, wrote the foreword to A Light So Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, Author of A Wrinkle in Time by Sarah Arthur (Zondervan, August 2018). In it Voiklis recalls crying the first time Sarah interviewed her. “We talked about my grandmother’s life: her habits, milestones and challenges, and what we each knew to be her impact on others. As we spoke, what moved me to tears was Sarah’s willingness to look at Madeleine and accept her as a full and flawed human being; an icon and iconoclast, not an idol.”
In A Light So Lovely, Arthur explores L’Engle’s spirituality and what her story means for each of us, now, in our own unique moment and within a larger narrative. Arthur recounts stories about L’Engle from friends and family as well as interviews with writers and thinkers who have been profoundly shaped by L’Engle’s writing.
“I’m painting a portrait of one of the spiritual giants who has gone before us,” writes Arthur. “And I’m encouraging a new generation of readers to seek and trust her as a spiritual guide. To borrow imagery from A Wrinkle in Time, we’re Meg Murry and she’s Mrs. Whatsit, traveling through time to challenge and encourage us.”
Arthur traces L’Engle’s spiritual journey through seven key movements including her self-proclaimed lonely childhood, her fascination with science and faith, her writings as a whole—specifically A Wrinkle in Time—and her influence on generations of artists who now embrace art as a spiritual vocation. Arthur also explores L’Engle’s paradoxical propensity to blur fact and fiction, and the impact of that tendency on her closest relationships.