- Paperback: 324 pages
- Publisher: Harcourt Brace & Company; 1 edition (July 9, 1980)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0156904365
- ISBN-13: 978-0156904360
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (582 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold Paperback – July 9, 1980
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At once more human and more mythic than his Perelandra trilogy, Lewis's short novel of love, faith, and transformation (both good and ill) offers the reader much food for thought in a compact, impressively rich story. Less heavy-handedly Christian-allegorical than Narnia, Till We Have Faces gives us characters who remind us of people we know facing choices and difficulties we recognize. This deceptively simple book takes on new depth with each rereading. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
''He always tells a good story, and this is a splendid, vehement one, full of stone and wind and spears in an old country, wet mist on the hills. ... seems to sum up most of what Dr. Lewis has been telling us for years.'' --The Tablet
''One of the most eminently readable pieces of fiction that has come my way for a long time.'' --Yorkshire Post --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a book I would highly recommend to anyone, at any stage of spiritual development. It tackles tough questions about belief in something more than the material, the problem of pain in our world, the dichotomy of the human heart needing both logic and emotion...I could go on and on.
But the main character drives the themes! She is a flawed character -- highly flawed -- but because her flaws are realistic and relatable, she is also a sympathetic character and the things that happen around her give her narration credibility, even as she revels herself to be an untrustworthy narrator.
In many ways, the novel is a fictional exploration of the deep ideas that Lewis touches on in many of his non-fiction works (Mere Christianity, The Problem with Pain, and especially The Four Loves). But it is much, much more than that. I consider this to be C.S. Lewis' best novel and, more than being my favorite novel by Lewis, the best novel I have ever read.
A bit of background: I was recommended this book by someone I neither like nor respect. Her selfishness has negatively affected my extended family more than I can say. One day we were at a family party she said Til We Have Faces was the best book that she's ever read and it changed her life. I thought to myself, "I love CS Lewis, I'm going to read this and just see." It felt insulting to CS Lewis to hear her say that! So, I read it almost out of spite.
She's right. It's an awesome book. I don't know how she could read it, and love it, and not make some major personal changes, but... I certainly did. Since reading it, I've been careful to examine my motives. To pretend to myself that my motives are pure instead of self-seeking affects the people who I say I love. I don't want to hurt the people around me while lying to myself that I'm doing it for them, when I'm really doing it because I'm jealous, or lonely, or insecure, or bored, or petty, or small minded, or afraid, or worried, or fill in the blank.
The style and setting took me a bit to acclimate to, but once I did, I was both fascinated and cut to the quick when I was reading. Take the time to get into the story. You won't regret it.
I think this is a must read.
It is hard to go over the moral implications without going over the meaning.
Overall, the story was great, it shows the beauty of a character compared to the physical ugliness of her sister who hides behind a mask. But hiding behind the mask can also twist one's own perceptions on reality. One is tempted to think Orual a hero but indeed a perception she intimates at is that she may be the villain standing in everyone's way. She lets her own feelings and inability to let go of her loved ones consume her so much that she steals them away for herself.