The Great Divorce

Well, the morning did not go the way I had planned and so it is only after hour 15 of the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon that I manage to finish a book.  But it is a great book – one of the best, in fact.

For those of you who haven’t read this masterpiece, Lewis presents himself as waking up in a cold, gray town full of unhappy people.  The narrator makes his way, along with several denizens of that town, to what can only be called Heaven, a place where Sunrise is approaching and things are far more real than the people he had traveled there with.  Indeed, the souls from the grey town are called “Ghosts” because they are not even real enough to bend the grass of this wondrous land.

Much of the book is taken with Lewis’s observation of the other souls as they determine whether or not they will stay in Heaven, or choose to return to the grey town, now identified as Hell.  Here is the meat of the text, as it provokes a great deal of thought and self-examination.

As I read, I found myself underlining nearly half of the lines (this may be hyperbole but not by much) as I read this one.  I should add that this is not the first time I have read this either – I always manage to find new insights and ideas as I ponder this book.  I feel like a person could write a dissertation on Lewis’s ideas in this brief book (and I would be surprised if it hasn’t already been done) because there is just so much here.

This is a book I will continue to return to year after year and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone and everyone.