Once Upon a Wardrobe
Once Upon a Wardrobe
I just finished reading one of the best books of 2021 and one of the best books ever called “Once Upon A Wardrobe,” by Patti Callahan. College student Megs Devonshire whose a math and physics major at Oxford College who loves her younger brother George very much. George has cancer and isn’t expected to live for very long. George has recently read the story “The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe,” by C.S. Lewis and wants to know where Narnia came from. So each week Meg goes to visit C.S. Lewis and his brother Warren and asks that very question. Lewis doesn’t give her a straight answer but rather many answers based on his life and the many magical stories he grew up reading. This book made me emotional I was crying a few times many of them happy tears. If a novel or a movie can make you emotional, then it has done its job.
There is so much to unpack here so I will do it to the best of my ability. I actually like how C.S. Lewis doesn’t say in a matter of fact way of how he came up with the idea of Narnia. Stories can come up with so many ideas some of them we know and others that will remain a mystery. If I listed every favorite thing about this book this would come out as more of an essay than it would a review. One of my many favorite parts of the novel was when Lewis told the story of how he met his best friend Ronald Tolkien (who yes is that same author J.R.R. Tolkien) and how they debated religion and atheism and how after a certain time Lewis became a changed man and believed in God again. I also enjoyed the part where Megs, George and Megs love interest Pedraig went on a day trip to Ireland to see Dunluce Castle which inspired Cair Paravel Castle in the Narnia novels. It was a breathtaking picture even though I was in my own home reading this novel in my mind I was with these wonderful characters smiling and crying along with them. Even though you knew George’s fate it still touched your heart the devotion Megs and every character has for George in order to make his last days an adventure never to be forgotten.
I only wish this novel could be longer. The story was that good that I didn’t want it to end or say goodbye but this is a story that will stay with you long after you finish the book so I have nothing to complain about.
If you’re a Narnia fan, if you love the power of stories and what they do and how they change us then this novel is for you. I probably could have sped through this book Friday night since it is a quick read but I wanted to savor every scene, every word, every description and every heartache and joy of the story. While stories are meant to entertain, stories are also meant to transport us somewhere, some when to tell us some type of truth and to let us know that while there is a lot of pain, anguish, and ugly things in there world there is also beauty, joy and most importantly hope. There’s hope that at the end of the dark tunnel there is a bright light. Thank you Patti Callahan for bringing about this beautiful light in a currently very dark world, also thank you C.S. Lewis for bringing us seven classic novels which are the Narnia books and last but not least thank you to every writer out there that had a story in their heart and soul and bringing letting it out into the world like a ship into the sea.