Saturday, December 27, 2008

Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold, by C.S. Lewis

Probably my last book of 2008, unless I squeeze in a short one before New Year's, but most definitely not the least favorite of 2008 was C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces. It is not one of Lewis' most popular books-- in fact I had never heard of it before I got it as a gift a couple years ago for my birthday. I put off reading it for a while simply because I was reading other books and when I decided I wanted to read it it was mostly because I had been reading a lot of non-fiction Christian living books and I felt like reading some fiction. I got more than I bargained for-- and I liked it.
The story is a retelling of the Greek myth of Cupid and Pysche, set in a pre-Christian world of kings and queens and castles and knights. The story is narrated by Psyche's oldest sister-Orual, whose ugliness has left her unmarred and unwanted. The book that she writes is her "complaint against the gods." It is compelling from the first chapter, but increasingly draws you in as you begin to question the reliability of the narrator, her motives, and even the nature of love itself. The culmination of the book, in perfect Lewis fashion, leaves you in awe and longing, perhaps to start the book over and read it again.
It was Lewis' last book and his own favorite; and if you're looking for a read similar to Narnia but with some more depth, this is the book for you. I highly recommend it.

1 comment:

Siona said...

dude, i just picked that book up at barnes the other day - looked interesting to me. i'm more excited to read it now...but i'm in a spot where you were, i'm currently in other books. maybe i'll get to it sooner than later. praying for your prep for your trip!