Till We Have Faces Audio Book Review
Written by C.S. Lewis Audio
Narrated by Nadia May
- C.S. Lewis reworks the timeless myth of Cupid and Psyche into an enduring piece of contemporary fiction in this novel about the struggle between sacred and profane love. Set in the pre-Christian world of Glome on the outskirts of Greek civilization, it is a tale of two princesses: the beautiful Psyche, who is loved by the god of love himself, and Orual, Psyche’s unattractive and embittered older sister who loves Psyche with a destructive possessiveness. Her frustration and jealousy over Psyche’s fate sets Orual on the troubled path of self-discovery. Lewis’ last work of fiction, this is often considered his best by critics.
As part of my recent C.S. Lewis kick, I picked up this book, not really knowing what to expect. I saw the note in the description mentioning that many consider this one of Lewis’ best books, and many of the user reviews agreed.
First, Lewis writes this story of self-discovery completely from the first perspective, which I have grown to enjoy the more I read. Lewis does a great job keying into the main character, Orual, and making you feel as she feels. Early on, Orual makes it clear she has beef with the gods, and Lewis does a great job explaining exactly why. While some define atheists as those who do not believe in gods at all, I have seen some (in fiction) define them as those who believe that the gods are simply not worthy of faith and worship. That’s exactly how Orual thinks, as nearly the entire book serves as her well thought out complaint against them as a whole.
Ironically, I have seen this exact same sentiment in some of my atheists friends and family. If God does not exists, how can they be so mad at Him? I see them shaking their fist in the air, at Him. They argue, if He exists, He must be a cruel God because of XYZ… and therefore not worthy of worship even if they saw Him face to face. Lewis excellently paints the argument, drawing on his own feelings and experience as an atheist for many years. His final strokes in the tale and debate are masterfully painted.
His excellence permeates the other aspects of the story, as well. From the supporting characters, to describing the world. He wastes not a word. In fact, I had to slow down my normal playing speed as He uses thick language full of color and thought. You cannot listen to this book casually, lest you miss an important point.
Nadia May executes the narration near flawlessly, lending a different voice to each character. I really enjoyed this entire book from beginning to end. I highly recommend it to my friends who study theology, those looking for a good, fictional book steeped in mythology, and even my atheist friends who may find a kindred soul in the main character. 5/5 Stars.