Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Great Divorce

The Great Divorce The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

Book 74 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 3 for the Classics Challenge

Book 7 of 10 for the Orbis Terrarum Challenge
(Northern Ireland)

rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every once in awhile, I finally read one of those books that makes me wonder why I had put off reading it for so long. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis is one of those books.

I thought this book would be a quick read, at just 125 pages. I couldn't have been more wrong. I wanted to savor the words on the page, chew on their meanings, and figure out how to apply them in my life. I wanted to push myself to decide how I felt, to decide if I agreed with the ideas presented or not, and then identify why I felt the way I did.

In a stand against moral relativism, this work is about the separation of heaven and hell and why the two cannot co-exist. The story begins as the narrator, presumably C.S. Lewis himself, finds that he on a bus journey with people from hell who are headed to heaven. Once they arrive on the cusp of heaven, someone they knew in life greets them and encourages them to come to heaven. But there is some definite resistance. As C.S. Lewis wanders around, he is privy to the conversations where the spirits determine whether or not they will make the choice to come to heaven. Some think it will be too hard to get to heaven, some refuse to forgive others who have made it to heaven, some feel they will miss the opportunities in hell too much, and others refuse to believe they are actually in hell in the first place.

I thought this book was fabulously thought-provoking and it would make an excellent book club choice. I think this work is an amazing exploration of human nature and our freedom to choose. I will definitely read this again with a highlighter in hand. Highly recommended.


Charley said...

I'm not sure this a book I'll like, but it sounds like one that could invite much discussion.

Sheila DeChantal said...

I have to read this. I love CS Lewis and last year made a statement (out loud even) that I owuld read everything written by him.

And then of course life kicked in.... but I believe I have time... ha ha... thanks for the review and the reminder. :)

Corinne said...

Wow. I find the same thing with C.S. Lewis - NOTHING is a "quick" read :) There is always a lot to think about though!

bermudaonion said...

My first thought when I saw the title was that I don't want to read about divorce, but after reading your review, I really want to read this book!

Chantele said...

You always have the best book suggestions!:) I love stopping by your blog!

Darla D said...

This sounds like a fascinating book. I'd heard of it, but I had no idea what it was about. Thanks for the review!

Shona said...

I like the premise of the book. Thanks for such a nice review.

Veens said...

wow! Really the title was confusing :)

the concept is so interesting, i will be looking for this one! thank you!

Shona said...

I found this book in my library and I guess I might start reading it soon. I have alittle something waiting for you HERE

Becca said...

One of my all-time favorites, Tricia. We'll have to discuss it sometime. (Better than Screwtape Letters, for me.)