Shannon's Reviews > Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis

Planet Narnia by Michael  Ward
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What once was my "three favorite books" is now going to have to be my four favorites, because Planet Narnia is now one of my favorite books of all time.

Ward's perceptive, careful, and ultimately undeniable argument was humbly presented yet utterly convincing. Not only did I learn much more about Narnia--enough to make my re-reading of it with my children reach levels of new joy--but I was also stirred to love virtue more. Though a thoroughly scholarly work of rewarding literary analysis (one of the best I've EVER read), it was spiritually nourishing as well. Through Ward's exposition of Lewis's work, I have come to see more than ever that virtue is not only about avoiding evil; it is also about active pursuit of beneficence, generosity, and love--all with its source a bountiful, kingly, gift-giving God.

My heart was so happy while reading each chapter. I spaced each one out like a decadent treat: I'd read one chapter, then deny myself the enjoyment of reading further until I could spend an hour or so sharing what I learned with my husband. It sparked wonderful rich discussion and helped me remember what I'd learned (and now we keep sharing knowing glances while we read aloud to our children). Dragons... yep, because... wink wink.

I anticipated each coming chapter like a kid looking forward to her birthday party or a tired mommy looking forward to date night. While reading, I often felt that soul-soaring, unsustainable feeling of brushing Truth--that nearly unbearable happiness so similar to "a particular kind of unhappiness or grief," Lewis's Joy. I cried when the book ended because I knew I could never have the experience of reading it fresh again.

There is something I cannot easily express about why I love C. S. Lewis so much, but I'll try: Lewis helps me see that even the most seemingly mundane daily duties and interactions have cosmic ramifications, transcendent implications. In Christ, everything is resurrected; everything matters. Ward's argument both drives that feeling home (my sense was right!) and expands it (my horizons are still too small!).

Recommended to anyone who loves C. S. Lewis, anyone interested in medieval literature or culture, anyone who likes mythology, or anyone who just wants to read a REALLY good book.
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Reading Progress

June 7, 2020 – Started Reading
June 7, 2020 – Shelved
June 8, 2020 –
page 22
6.34% "Already hard to put down. I'm hooked like it's a thrilling novel!"
June 13, 2020 –
page 76
June 17, 2020 –
page 99
June 19, 2020 –
page 120
June 22, 2020 –
page 160
46.11% "Man..... I LOVE this."
June 29, 2020 –
page 189
July 4, 2020 –
page 213
July 10, 2020 – Finished Reading
July 13, 2020 – Shelved as: even-better-in-discussion
July 13, 2020 – Shelved as: i-hear-my-mind-exploding
July 13, 2020 – Shelved as: life-changing
July 13, 2020 – Shelved as: now-i-want-to-write-an-essay

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