I had really zero idea what this book was going to be about because I don't know the story of Psyche and Cupid, so people telling me "it's a retelling of the story of Psyche and Cupid" didn't really mean anything to me.
Anyway, I'm soooo glad Olivia hosted a read-along for this because it's not a Lewis book I had any real interest in reading, so I probably would have gone YEARS before getting around to it. But I dug it very much indeed. Thank you, Olivia.
It's hard for me to explain what this book is even about. On its surface, it's about a king's ugly daughter, Orual, who is fiercely possessive and protective of her younger half-sister, Psyche, who is even more beautiful than Orual is ugly. They live in an ancient kingdom in the Middle East-ish sort of area, I guess? And their father is a tyrant, they have a sister who's a fool, and they have a Greek slave called The Fox for a tutor.
The Fox teaches them all sorts of fairly athiestic philosophy. Their own culture worships a rock-goddess and believes in many deities. But Orual basically worships her sister. Until she loses her. And gets freaked out by what she finds when she goes looking for her sister.
Basically, the whole thing is all about what it's like to be an unbeliever who loves a person who becomes a believer. How left out you would feel, then how rejected, how angry, how confused. How betrayed and bewildered. Orual cannot accept or believe what happened to Psyche, and her unbelief drives her to desperation. It's masterfully told, of course, and I think that when I re-read it, I'll enjoy it even more because it wasn't until the very end that I finally got what Lewis was saying about unbelief and belief, so I spent most of the book going, "Um, wait, what?"
Particularly Good Bits:
The days were endless. The very shadows seemed nailed to the ground as if the sun no longer moved (p. 102).
I was with book, as a woman is with child (p. 281).
Memory, once waked, will play the tyrant (p. 287).
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG-16. Much more raw and adult than I was expecting, yet never crosses over into being explicit or dirty.
This is my 42nd book read and reviewed for my second go-'round with the Classics Club and my 3rd for #TheUnreadShelfProject2020. And my first for My Year with C.S. Lewis!