The Great Divorce

146 pages
By C.S Lewis

Book Review

I doubted my “why” for picking up this book even after two chapters were concluded, but page after page, I pondered on the good reviews I earlier saw and hoped it would be just like the first two seasons of the Big Bang Theory, a bland foundation for an exciting future. Sure enough, in the third chapter, things started to make a lot more sense; I became more impressed by the figurative expressions than upset by the word choices.

“The Great Divorce” moulded a fictional setting of a bus ride from Hell to Heaven and the individual choices of the passengers while on the ride and upon arrival.

The writer speaks about Ghosts and Spirits having conversations—mostly on their ideologies of Hell and Heaven; the different backgrounds of the Ghosts give it a fresh perspective. Also, from the book, the Spirits reside in Heaven, while the Ghosts are the passengers that just arrived—some for a visit and some others return to Hell.

The narrator (who is seemingly also a Ghost) converses with some Spirits he meets in Heaven at specific intervals while observing the conversations with other Ghosts and Spirits, and asking meaningful questions. The answers from the Spirits (the narrator often refers to them as Teacher) are where most lessons from this book are derived.

A striking response from one of the teachers was that if those who ever deserved Hell made it to Heaven, their natural reaction would be to make Hell out of Heaven. In the end, all of these was just a dream from the narrator.

But after completing this book, I see, once again, why CS Lewis is such a profound writer and a deep thinker who never forgets to come back to shore promptly. Indeed, “The Great Divorce” feels like reading the KJV Bible; needless to say, one read will not do the trick.

One quote from the book to call it a review: “There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him.”

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