Four children – Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy – are moved to the countryside during the bombing of London in World War II. They stay with a very old professor in a huge mansion. In the huge mansion, they haven’t much to do and boredom sets in. They keep playing and exploring the mansion.
Lucy, the youngest, comes across a wardrobe in one of the rooms. In an attempt to hide from the rest of the children, she gets into the wardrobe. But, once inside the wardrobe, she finds herself in the middle of a snow-clad forest. She gropes in the darkness and finds light after walking for a while. She finds a lamp post in the middle of the forest.
In front of the lamppost, Lucy meets a fawn, Tumnus. He is delighted find Lucy and refers to her as daughter of Eve. Lucy learns the name of the place from the fawn. She is in Narnia. Tumnus invites Lucy to his house for tea. Over the tea, Tumnus breaks down and confesses of trapping Lucy for the White Witch. The witch has cast a spell over Narnia. Because of this spell, Narnia is always covered with snow and there is no Christmas! Tumnus helps Lucy get back to her world.
In the real world, nobody believes Lucy. When Lucy attempts to show everyone Narnia by getting into the wardrobe, it doesn’t work! The older children, bothered by Lucy’s “delirium”, takes her to the professor. The professor listens patiently and advises everyone against teasing Lucy. Lucy might be telling the truth.
While playing, Lucy along with Edmund enters the wardrobe again and ends up in Narnia. In Narnia, they go separate ways. Edmund meets White Witch. The witch presents Edmund with Turkish Delight. She also promises to Edmund make him the king if he brings in brother and sisters to Narnia. After bidding goodbye to the witch, Edmund finds Lucy and they go back to their world together.
Once back, Edmund completely disowns Lucy in front of Peter and Susan. Edmund says Narnia to be a figment of Lucy’s imagination. Lucy is disappointed. But life continues. Once again, during one of their games, all the four children get into the wardrobe. Now, all four of them ends up in Narnia. Edmund turns out be a liar in front of others.
Lucy takes all of them to Tumnus. There, they find his house destroyed by the witch. Lost in Narnia, they are led forward by birds to Mr & Mrs Beaver. Beaver educates them about Narnia – the spell of the witch and the savior, Aslan, the Lion. While Beaver is narrating these stories about Narnia, Edmund slips away to the witch. Betrayed by Edmund, everyone is in for a surprise. Father Christmas visits Narnia. The spell is breaking and Aslan is on the move. Now, all three children and the Beavers embarks on a journey to meet Aslan. Meanwhile, the witch is enraged in finding Edmund alone and orders an hunting party for the other kids.
The rest of the books tells us how Aslan saves Narnia and what happens to the four children. They grow from being children to shoulder the responsibility of Narnia.
This is a book for children and hence the author, C S Lewis, uses a simple style. The style resembles an older person reciting a story for a group of children sitting besides the fire. In between the narrative, C S Lewis, pauses to explain a difficult concept to the young reader and then proceeds. Very often, these explanations are something which the young reader can relate to. The books has illustrations which help the young reader to have a visual image of fawns, centaurs etc. This is ideally recommended for young readers who wants to break away from comic books but cannot do away with comic book like illustrations completely.
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