No, I didn’t just read The Arm of the Starfish, by Madeleine L’Engle (of Wrinkle in Time fame).
Not too long, I was trying to remember the name of this book I read as kid. I remembered that it had something to do with starfish research (and the ability of the starfish to regrow titular arms). Mostly, I (half) remembered this beautiful description of a somewhat villainous character, who was fat, with thin limbs and the effect was of a spider. I can’t remember the exact phrasing, but it stuck with me.
So then I read that essay and realized that the book was The Arm of the Starfish. Don’t be surprised if I get it from the library and re-read it.
Apparently, in a weird way, it’s a sequel to the Wrinkle in Time trilogy, with two secondary, but important characters being the same as two vital characters in that trilogy. I don’t recall their spiritual/metaphysical adventures being referenced, so I’m guessing it was more of a reference point for the author than anything a reader really needs to know. Or maybe it is. If I re-read it, I’ll let you know.