I haven’t written a review in awhile, because I haven’t felt compelled to do so. I’m so glad I came across this book!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I picked this book up at random from the library, intrigued by both the cover art and the title. I hesitated, though, because I was worried that the author would dim my view of my first literary hero, C. S. Lewis.
But this woman, Laura Miller, gets it. More than anyone I have ever met. What The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe did for her when she first opened its pages, it did for me too.
This book actually made me tear up in places, because I finally feel like I’ve met someone who understands my love for Narnia, and my ability to believe in it still, even as an adult. The Chronicles are the first books I read that truly transported me to another world. A world I have never really left. The only other person I’ve known who seemed to feel the same way as I do about books is Anne Shirley–a fictional character. I mean, I have a lot of friends who loooove books. And love them as much as I do. But I’ve never met anyone who still believes in Narnia in some small way.
I loved this part biography, part memoir, part literary criticism (a genre I’ve never read before). Enough that I plan to buy it, so I can read it again, because there were definitely parts that went a bit over my head, referencing greats that I don’t yet know. (Seriously – there are too many books to read, and not enough time.)
One of my favorite things about it is the insight into Lewis’ reading habits and his friendship with J. R.R. Tolkien. Lewis’ reading habits and sentiments about reading are much like my own. While I don’t know whether I would have gotten along with his blustery bachelor ways, I think I very much would have liked to sit and chat with him, cigar smoke and all. And I hate cigar smoke.