Thursday, August 19, 2010

Into the Wardrobe and Why

HSV is having a "post your kids fav book" meme today and being a dedicated bibliophile I couldn't pass it up. But where to start? I thought about asking each kid individually but, knowing them (bibliophiles one and all), they wouldn't be able to limit themselves to just 1, and knowing Feche-boy and Miss. R they wouldn't be able to stop at all and I'd be knee deep into lit review and analysis for the rest of the day So, given time restraints and other obligations, I thought I'd toss out our collective favorite book. That too, is a collection of books. No matter. I was going to do a book review of them anyway for my 52 books in a year challenge so might as well do it know.
Certainly you've guessed by now that it is The Chronicles of Narnia. I was first introduced to them by this guy I dated who couldn't believe I'd never read them. I guess reading, and loving them, were part of the rite to marriage because it was on the pre-marital to-do list. I've loved them (and him) ever since. We've read the 7 books out loud as Family Read-Aloud at least 2 other, but maybe 3, times before this reading. Miss R gave Cub the bound collection for his birthday and it's been a healing balm to us to read again this fine tale through a season of rush and stress, worry, moving and unrest. If you limited yourself to the movie or audio version, fine. But do yourself a real favor and read the books. They are full of imagery and poetry and theology and the mysterious. Chock full of love and justice, fairness and revenge, illness and healing, sloth, evil and unfair gain. It's all in these 7 slim volumes, written by a master story-teller and one of the great Christian apologists of our time.

The Magician's Nephew sets the stage for the whole party. Pride, arrogance, selfishness and faithfulness to the good and True are addressed. Character development is rich and engaging. A satisfying and touching ending.

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is the book most are familiar with. The Pevensie children struggle with issues common to humanity and you'll recognize yourself in each one. Lots of room here for character studies. "Peace Beavers" is one of my favorite lines and one I often think the Lord would say to me. Deep magic is discussed and I think that this gentle introduction to an understanding of a priori is fundamental to all true apologetics or logic.

The Horse & His Boy might be my favorite book. As a person with an abundant gift of judgement (or, jokingly criticism) I love Lewis' treatment of the unfair and how all things are set right at the appointed time. The chapter titled, "The Unwelcome fellow Traveller" is so beautiful. It describes a boy, full of sorrows, searching for hope and truth and finding it unexpectedly in a manner he could not imagine. A beautiful portrait of understanding Christ as the person of Truth, as well as the Trinity and how the Spirit deftly guides and directs us.

Prince Caspian is all about who you are and who you follow, what are you called to be and called to do.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; Eustace gets his comeuppance and a delightful one it is. "Dragon, we have a few jobs for you to do," is oft quoted 'round here.

The Silver Chair describes how fragile we are when grieving and the trouble we'll embrace for lost hopes and loves. Again, atonement, faithfulness and Truth are the themes. Puddleglum is a lovable Marshwiggle and his world is one we all embrace and love here.

The Last Battle. There will be one and it will include pain and suffering, heartache, humility and pride, lost souls who see Truth and those committed to blindness. This world, like Narnia will come to an end. Be ready.
Why do we love these books? Because Lewis is a master craftsman and words are his tools of trade. He paints with words that are fluid and and true and speak to our hearts. We've read the words countless times (because besides reading them out loud, we've all ('cept Flower) read them ourselves more than once, watched every movie version, listened to them on CD and quote them extensively. These are books that feed ones literary need for good words and ones soul for Truth.


Layton Family Joy said...

thanks for linking up again! These were - and still are - my favorite books! I can't wait to share them with my sons!

the hsv

Diane said...

We also love all things Narnia. We are two chapters away from finishing The Silver Chair and will move on to The Last Battle. I think our favorite is still the first book in the series. Can't wait until the new Voyage of the Dawn Treader comes out in December at the movies.

hopeinbrazil said...

My husband has read the series at least three times to our boys, but I never got on board till this year. I'm halfway through the series (on my own) and am really enjoying it.