Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2005
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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


****Till We Have Faces

A Myth Retold

by C. S. Lewis

Reviewed August 2, 2005.
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York.  First published in 1956.  313 pages.
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2005 (#3, Literary Fiction)

Perhaps I shouldn’t call this book an “Old Favorite,” since the first time I read it, I didn’t understand that it was a retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche.  Without that information, the story isn’t nearly as compelling.

This time, I found the story moving and powerful.  Lewis tells the story from the point of view of Psyche’s sister, Orual.  In the traditional story, Orual is portrayed as jealous of Psyche, which is why she prompted her sister to discover her lover and condemn herself to wandering.  In Lewis’s story, Orual acted as she did because she couldn’t see Psyche’s palace, and she honestly thought that Psyche was deluded or perhaps married to a monster.

Lewis’s story is powerful, and full of symbolism and philosophical ramifications.  I’m still not sure I grasped all that he was trying to say, but I do know that I was deeply moved by this book.  Truly he was a master of, not allegories, but word-pictures of spiritual truths.

Reviews of other books by C. S. Lewis:

The Great Divorce
Out of the Silent Planet
That Hideous Strength
A Year with C. S. Lewis
Of Other Worlds
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Horse and His Boy
The Magician's Nephew
The Last Battle
The Last Battle performed by Patrick Stewart

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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