I think everyone knows who C.S. Lewis is.
Even if you do not know Lewis, you probably know The Chronicles of Narnia; this is arguably his most famous work. However, as much as I also adore those books, I think there is a book that he has written better than the entire Narnia series.
My first exposure to Till We Have Faces was during junior year of college. As an English major, aside from the required core classes I took, I also had to take several “advanced” English electives. The university I attended was quite small, so the electives offered were limited. I think that particular semester, I had maybe three electives to choose from—clearly, not a lot of options. The elective class I ended up registering for was about religious thought in literature.
When I first started reading the novel, I struggled to see the connection to Christianity. It is no secret that Lewis was an acclaimed, outspoken believer. Thus, I wondered why he decided to write a novel based on a myth. For a basic run-down, Till We Have Faces is a retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth. However, instead of focusing on those two characters, the story is told from the point-of-view of Psyche’s sister, Orual.
After I finished the book, all of my doubts toward Lewis faded. Out of all the books I read in this class, Till We Have Faces was my favorite because it was more than just some myth. While the story itself is engaging and, oftentimes, heart-wrenching, Lewis delves into the darkest parts of humanity: doubt, pride, jealousy, suffering, and anger against God.
Orual, the main character, struggles with all of these issues. Unlike her sister, she is not beautiful. As the book progresses, she succumbs to the darkness because of the injustice she feels towards her life. I feel like these feelings and characteristics are so real and relatable, you know? Often, we blame God for our misfortunes because we think life is so unfair. What we fail to realize is that God does not work that way.
I do not want to give too much of the book away, but it left me speechless. I still think about it to this day and it has been two years. Till We Have Faces is a novel that everyone should read because we all have been Orual at some point in our lives.
“I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer.
Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?”
– C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces
Gabrielle Yang—or as her friends like to call her, Gabby—is a recent graduate of Wingate University, with a major in English.
For as long as she can remember, she’s had a passion for writing.
Along with a love for writing, she also has a serious case of wanderlust.
Her favorite place that she has visited is Strasbourg, France!
She is currently in a period of transition from student-life to adult-life,
and is waiting on God’s timing to see what He has planned for her future.
When she is not writing, you can find her nose-deep in literature
or day-dreaming about the next adventure.
You can see more adventures, as well as everyday life, on her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gabbyxng/