Till We Have Faces

Till We Have Faces

A Myth Retold

Book - 1984
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"I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer . . . Why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?"

Haunted by the myth of Cupid and Psyche throughout his life, C.S. Lewis wrote this, his last, extraordinary novel, to retell their story through the gaze of Psyche's sister, Orual. Disfigured and embittered, Orual loves her younger sister to a fault and suffers deeply when she is sent away to Cupid, the God of the Mountain. Psyche is forbidden to look upon the god's face, but is persuaded by her sister to do so; she is banished for her betrayal. Orual is left alone to grow in power but never in love, to wonder at the silence of the gods. Only at the end of her life, in visions of her lost beloved sister, will she hear an answer.

" Till We Have Faces succeeds in presenting with imaginative directness what its author has described elsewhere as 'the divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic reality in which we all live' . . . [It] deepens for adults that sense of wonder and strange truth which delights children in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe , Prince Caspian , and other legends of Narnia." -- New York Times

"The most significant and triumphant work that Lewis has . . . produced." -- New York Herald Tribune
Publisher: Orlando, Fla. : Harcourt, [1984]
ISBN: 9780156904360
Characteristics: 313 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Eichenberg, Fritz 1901-1990.


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Mar 17, 2017

Could hardly be better, rewarding the reader's engagement while crafting a compelling new vision of a timeless story.

Nov 23, 2014

I loved this book! I'd never heard of the story of cupid and psyche till I had to read this book in 8th grade for literature class but I'm glad I did because it's a wonderful book! I just adore any thing by C.S.Lewis!

Dec 14, 2013

This was a beautifully written story about an ugly sister who tells the story as a sort of memoir. The first 'book' expresses her anger with the gods, but the second book is her older and wiser take on the first book. I never wanted the second book to end and the ending made me feel so peaceful that I wanted to laugh and cry and everything all at once.

Dec 13, 2012

A unique retelling of Cupid and Psyche story, told from the view point of Psyche's sister. A classic!

Apr 26, 2011

C.S. Lewis considers this his best work. It was slow starting. I kept thinking "why did he like this one so much". In the end I liked it too, I still like the Narnia series best and think they are truly his best works.


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May 10, 2013

When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the center of your soul for years, which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you'll not talk about the joy of words. I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?

Jun 10, 2008

The Divine Nature wounds and perhaps destroys us merely by being what it is.

Jun 10, 2008

“No, no, no,” she said. “You don’t understand. Not that kind of longing. It was when I was happiest that I longed most. It was on happy days when we were up there on the hills, the three of us, with the wind and the sunshine… where you couldn’t see Glome or the palace. Do you remember? The colour and the smell, and looking across the Grey Mountain in the distance? And because it was so beautiful, it set me longing, always longing. Somewhere else there must be more of it. Everything seemed to be saying, Psyche, come! But I couldn’t (not yet) come and I didn’t know where I was to come to. It almost hurt me. I felt like a bird in a cage when the other birds of its kind are flying home.”


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