I’ll tell you a weird thing about me: My mother was Lucy Pevensie.

Or OK, obviously my mom was not Lucy Pevensie, since Lucy Pevensie is a fictional character from The Chronicles of Narnia. But a lot of the same things that happened to Lucy Pevensie also happened to my mom. Both she and Lucy grew up in London in the 1930s. When WWII started, they were both evacuated from London – sent to a strange house deep in the quiet of the English countryside, to stay with a strange family, while Hitler bombed the crap out of their childhood home.

Lucy Pevensie, of course, found herself in a creaky old mansion with a quirky, avuncular professor. She hid in a wardrobe and found her way into Narnia. My mom — being from a very poor neighborhood, and class tensions in England being what they were – was deemed too uncouth by her hosts and promptly re-evacuated back to London, where fortunately all the bombs missed her anyway.

Later my mom won a scholarship to Oxford, where she studied with C.S. Lewis. Suffice it to say that in our house we took our Narnia pretty seriously.