Top positive review
Still magical after all these years
Reviewed in the United States on May 15, 2017
It can be a risk to re-read books that you loved as a child or a teen. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is one of the books that I read countless times as I was growing up. The world of Narnia never got old or boring. Happily, I enjoyed this as much 40+ years later!
Published in 1950, this was the then first book of the Narnia series. A prequel was published later. I read other books in the Narnia series, but this was always my favorite. People will tell you that this is a story about Christianity, a retelling of stories from the Bible, or an allegory. As a child I thought this was a wonderful fairy tale. As an adult, I was able to see the moral or Christian parallels but I chose to ignore them and read this as a fairy tale.
Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy live in London but they are sent to the countryside during WWII to escape the blitz. They are housed with an elderly and wise professor and his strict and intimidating housekeeper in an old mansion. While playing hide and seek on a rainy day, Lucy hides in wardrobe. Behind the fur coats is the land of Narnia. Narnia is ruled by the White Witch and she has made the land "always winter but never Christmas." Narnia is divided into good animals and bad animals who serve the Witch. Lucy is helped by a "good" faun, who protects her from the Witch. The presence of a human in Narnia is threatening to the Witch and all the animals have been told to alert her immediately. Lucy safely returns home and her siblings do not believe her story. Edmund and Lucy then find Narnia together but he meets the White Witch and is put under her spell. On returning home, he lies to the two older siblings and claims Narnia does not exist. Eventually, all four siblings end up in Narnia, though with Edmund sneaking off to see the Witch. With the help of Mr. & Mrs. Beaver, Peter, Susan, and Lucy go to meet Aslan the Lion and together they battle to save Narnia. Each child is given a special task and a magical tool. Aslan makes huge sacrifices to save Edmund. The good and bad animals of the forest do battle and being a fairy tale, there is a happy ending.
This book really sparked my imagination when I was a child. I just love the idea of a secret wardrobe that leads to another world. I still do! The book is dedicated to Mr. Lewis' goddaughter Lucy. It reads as if your kindly godfather was telling you a wonderful story. I love the little asides by the narrator. As a child, I did not realize that the story took place during WWII or that many children were removed from London for their safety. Otherwise, the story is as I remembered and I believe the illustrations are the same. This is a classic for a reason. If you missed it in childhood, read it yourself or share it with a special young person. It was lovely to visit Narnia again!