I am so glad that I finally got a chance to read the first book of the Chronicles of Narnia series, even if I am twenty years too late. Honestly, I have to thank my book club for choosing this read for December and forcing me to pluck it off my bookshelf.
Some may say that reading it as an adult isn’t the same, that it may have lost some of it’s magic, but not for me. Perhaps because I never read it before, but I suspect I would have felt the same way reading it as a child as I do now. I think part of this also has to do with my persistence on reading a book I think the way the author wanted it to be read. It’s obviously a children’s book so I try not to over think it like an adult.
From Goodreads: NARNIA…the land beyond the wardrobe, the secret country known only to Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy…the place where the adventure begins. Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor’s mysterious old house. At first, no one believes her when she tells of her adventures in the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund and then Peter and Susan discover the Magic and meet Aslan, the Great Lion, for themselves. In the blink of an eye, their lives are changed forever.
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe reminds me of stories straight from a child’s imagination. I can just picture being a kid and playing make believe and coming up with a whole world beyond. In fact, I once wrote a short story of brothers and sisters going on a camping trip, exploring a cave and coming out into a different world on the other side. The child’s imagination can be vast if the kindling is stirred so why not a world of witches and lion kings and talking animals?
This is evident in the story itself as Lucy, the youngest is the one to find Narnia and of course, her older siblings don’t believe her. They just think she is making up stories. Out of the siblings, Lucy was my favorite because she is so innocent, though I think she is much braver than I would have been having found a whole new world. She considers all possibilities, even if they sound ridiculous and she tries to see the best in people.
I also liked Peter because even as the oldest, he defends his siblings, from protecting Lucy when Edmund teases her, to later in the book when he plays a larger role in defending Narnia. That being said, Edmund was my least favorite. He was such a bully to Lucy and thinks he is always right. Coming from a very large family, I being the youngest, I always fought with the ones that were like Edmund. I wish there was a little more characterizations of Susan as I couldn’t get a real feel for her, but maybe she plays a larger role in the later books.
As an adult, the book was a quick read that I flipped through in a few hours but I think it is a simple read for a child as well. It is not bogged down with too many details and is straight and to the point, with simplistic writing that any child can follow. It is full of adventure and magic and possibilities that nurture a child’s imagination.
I can totally understand why this book has become a classic and continues to be a favorite children’s book for many. If I have time this month, I may even continue to read the other books in the series.