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

A Review by Scott finished Jan. 15, 2011

This review will contain spoilers!

In many sentences:

I unfortunately realized on 09-01-2011 that I never wrote a critique for Till We Have Faces so my recollection here will be somewhat less precise than it would have been had I been diligent and written this up 9 months ago.

I remember this being a difficult book to get through. Not because it was bad, or lacking, but because it was sad and dark. There was no great joy in reading about how Orual's bitterness and selfishness caused her to ruin the genuine love that Psyche was feeling. And, despite it being beautifully written, I did not find it compelling to find out what happened next. Perhaps it was the point in my life, or my emotions at the moment, but I didn't really enjoy reading this book. Still, that was much of its purpose, judging by the content, so I don't think that is a negative statement about its quality.

I think it's also worth noting that I came off of a period of reading more of Lewis' non-fiction and short stories, which are supremely insightful in the case of the former, and much lighter in the latter. This was dense, and emotionally draining experience by comparison.

With all that said, however, I still think this is a book worth recommending. The reader must simply be aware of what they are getting into.

Favorite Quote

"You are indeed teaching me about kinds of love I did not know. It is like looking into a deep pit. I am not sure whether I like your kind better than hatred. Oh, Orual - to take my love for you, because you know it goes down to my very roots and cannot be diminished by any other newer love, and then to make of it a weapon, a thing of policy and mastery, an instrument of torture - I begin to think I never knew you. Whatever comes after, something that was between us dies here."

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

Originally Published Jan. 1, 1956

Paperback edition:

324 pages - July 9, 1980

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