On Shelf | Leanne Witten
One of George MacDonald’s most well-known works, Lilith, tells the story of Mr. Vane: a man who, through a strange series of events, finds himself on an epic journey that causes him to stop and think about who he is, and what he really believes about life and faith.
Mr. Vane, takes a visit to the library of his estate when he is suddenly, and quite unintentionally, pulled into another world. Riddled with spiritual parallels, Lilith takes you into a fictional land, full of mystery, rich symbolism, and endless questions.
If you are someone who has ever been taken in by any of C.S. Lewis’ books, this novel makes a great edition for your reading list. C.S. Lewis himself once said, “I have never concealed the fact that I regarded him (MacDonald) as my master; indeed I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him.”
There are numerous similarities between George MacDonald’s work and Lewis’s writings. One of the greatest elements of this book is that each chapter not only adds to the storyline, but is also a spiritual parallel to the reality of faith in the real world.
Using skillful analogies, MacDonald employs the model of a story to address a broad spectrum of spiritual issues, ranging from work-based faith to enduring fierce temptation, with thought-provoking clarity.
Near the end of the book, Mr. Vane comes face-to-face with the power of evil and how easily we as humans are influenced and enticed into doing what we know is wrong. His friend, Mr. Raven, wisely advises him, “Annihilation itself is no death to evil. Only good where evil was, is evil dead. An evil thing must live with its evil until it chooses to be good. That alone is the slaying of evil.” This is a crucial point for Mr. Vane, who then begins to realize that only when he recognizes that nothing good comes from within himself, can he truly choose to do what is good.
MacDonald has a way of using the easy style of storytelling to probe at the heart of the reader, making for a compelling yet very comprehensible book. I highly recommend this book both for its captivating storyline, as well as its great insight.