It’s time for the ‘A-Z challenge’- a post every day in April (except Sundays) working up through the alphabet. This year I will be writing about books that I read before I started this blog, that were important to me in some way. The vast majority are ones I still have on my bookshelf today, despite a move in house and sometimes many years since I first read it.
N is for Narnia
Book: the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
What is it about:
So I know that the book isn’t called Narnia, but I needed an ‘N’, and the whole series is good. I will mainly talk about the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe today.
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is the first of 7 Narnia books written by CS Lewis, but the second chronologically. Two of the books he wrote towards the end take place much earlier in the over riding story arc, and in one letter to a fan, Lewis states that it probably made more sense to read them chronologically than in the order published. However, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is a much easier book to get into and enjoy than the Magician’s nephew, so I would still start with the former.
Peter, Susan, Lucy and Edmund are evacuated to the country during the second world war, and go to live in a big manor house. Lucy, the youngest, discovers a magical wardrobe, which acts as a door to a magical kingdom called Narnia, where animals talk, fauns and other mythical creatures live, and the land has been under the witch’s spell and remained in perpetual winter for years.
This is a high fantasy book, with strong Christian themes in it- Aslan the lion represents Jesus, the White witch is Satan etc. The story of their fight and the climax of the fight, is an allegory for our need for redemption and Jesus’ death and resurrection.
That being said, many non religious people still enjoy the Narnia series.
When I first read this book:
This was another book that was read at bedtime to my sister and myself. It also found its way into my life in other ways- there was a movie from I’m guessing the 80s that we had on VHS, and we also acted in a musical version of it.
Why it is important to me:
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is probably CS Lewis’ most famous book. It is one of those stories that everyone knows at least a little about- it is somewhere in the background of everyone’s childhood.
Who should read it:
Older children or nostalgic adults.