Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis (a Review)

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Till We have Faces by C.S. Lewis (a Review) on LibraryAdventure.com I just finished reading Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis. For those who only know C.S. Lewis by reading The Chronicles of Narnia with your children, I encourage you to read this beautiful and complex novel. It captures the realities of doubt through the lens of myth and creates a haunting tale of reflection, fear, betrayal, love, and lastly, hope.

Lewis uses the Ancient Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche for the basis of this tale through the voice of Oural, the ugliest daughter of the king of Glome. She recalls her long life of heartache and pain, and at the center of her life’s biggest decision, is her dazzling baby sister Psyche, who encompasses all that is beautiful and pure, and is sent away to marry a god.

Lewis understands the plight of someone experiencing doubt, and he creates a sense of complete empathy for the narrator, a woman struggling to keep her own bitterness and clouded vision from influencing her actions. Oural speaks to the psychological struggles of all humans – the parts of us that are good and true struggling against the jealousy and selfishness in every human heart.

This version of myth and allegory by Lewis is not unlike Narnia, but with shadows and gray areas and ambiguity. It’s myth for grown-ups. In this novel, we can no longer see the White Witch or Aslan. There is no lamp post, guiding our paths or leading us home. Glome is not a land behind a wardrobe. It’s a primal place, butted up against the Mountain of the Gods but no closer to understanding how those gods work.

If you are unfamiliar with the Psyche/Cupid myth, no worries, Lewis included a version of it after the novel. Go find this book at your nearest library. Make some tea, and read this one slowly.

About Kelly Wiggains

Kelly Wiggains, a high school English teacher turned homeschool mom, likes to surround herself with good literature, beautiful things, and big ideas, and she wants her home to reflect those things, too. She blogs atkellywiggains.com, where she talks about everything From Literature to Living.

Comments

  1. Oooo, thank you for reviewing this. I have to say this is in my top 5 favorite books of all time. It’s been a while since I read it. I’m going to get it for my Kindle!

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