I have talked about how much A Wrinkle In Time has meant to me as a reader here, here, and here, but I have only talked about Meg Murry once, during a Top Ten Tuesday when I declared her one of my literary best friends. In a lot of ways, Meg was everything I was and wanted to be.
When I was approached to participate in this blog post, I was told to write about my favorite character from the book. I thought, surely, Meg had already been taken, but to my surprise, she was still available. Reading A Wrinkle in Time, for me, as a ten-year-old, could accurately be described as a rapturous occasion. I know, it’s heavy language, but it’s a book I remember reading so clearly for the first time. I remember where I was and what I was wearing and what I was doing. I remember feeling as though the entire universe had shifted and changed because this book had been written and I had read it. I know, I know, that’s dramatic. But I was a ten-year-old avid reader with a flair for the dramatic.
The reality was that I didn’t find a lot of characters I could relate to when I was reading, but there was just something about Meg that I understood. She wasn’t popular, she wasn’t considered beautiful, she was smart, but she sometimes still had trouble in school. Her family was brilliant and strange and she loved them. She met a boy who loved her for who she was. She went on intergalactic adventures. She grew up and was beautiful, had a lovely family, eventually went on to get a PhD.
To ten-year-old Lu, Meg was the friend I desperately needed in my real life. Slightly older, who could tell me that even if things are hard, right now, they will eventually turn out okay. You may have to fight evil itself, travel through the planets, be nursed back to health by Aunt Beast, but it will, eventually, work out. Being a child, for me, was an awkward, frustrating experience, and it seemed like it was for Meg, too. Meg and I understood each other.
I went on to read other books in the Murry-O’Keefe storyline, and even though Meg didn’t have as much of a presence, I loved seeing her as an adult, confident and sure of herself, so different from the Meg of A Wrinkle in Time. I wish I could have met Madeleine L’Engle and told her how much her books and her characters, especially Meg, meant to me as a child and teenager. Now, as an adult, L’Engle’s own memoirs have been pure comfort reads, like talking to my family or friends. Though it’s impossible to know for sure, one way or another, I think I would have been a completely different person if A Wrinkle in Time hadn’t found its way into my hands. I’m just so grateful that young-Lu had Meg Murry in her life.
To learn more and see the full list of participants in the 50 Years 50 Days blog tour, please see the official Facebook page, here. It turns out I’m not the only one who looked up to Meg: the New York Times ran a piece yesterday called “‘A Wrinkle in Time’ and its Sci-Fi Heroine.” It is definitely worth a read!
A note about the 50th Anniversary Edition:
The 50th Anniversary Commemorative edition features:
Photo scrapbook with approximately 10 photos*†
Letter from 1963 Caldecott winner, Ezra Jack Keats*†
New introduction by Katherine Paterson, US National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature †
New afterword by Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter Charlotte Voiklis including six never-before-seen photos †
Murry-O’Keefe family tree with new artwork †
Madeleine L’Engle’s Newbery acceptance speech
* Unique to this edition † never previously published