Calling Truth from the Reader: Discovering George MacDonald

As a young girl, I could never find enough to read. My mother, who passed her love for reading on to me, had gathered a library of books. Most of the books were old fashioned novels, innocent love stories, cowboy thrillers, and random stories. Apart from the standard books I read for English class, they were all I knew of literature. I devoured them all and was not always impressed. Somehow I was still a good student, though I read until the wee hours of the night all the time. I read  through so many books at the school library that there were few I had not read when I graduated.  All my friend preferred sunny days out of doors. I loved rainy days, curled up with a book.

It did not change when I went off to college; my nose was always in a book.  When I got married, there were new books on new topics to consume. Then I met a friend who handed me Sir Gibbie by George MacDonald. It drew me in like no other book I had ever read. I did not read it once, but so many times that my friend ordered me my own copy. Not only did I begin to weigh other books by its richness, but it flowed over into my life. The profound wisdom and the simplicity of character, combined with the understanding of life being a path of our choice, woke something deep inside of me. I gathered and read all the classic childhood books I could from this new place. I felt like all the classics suddenly went from black and white to color.  My imagination had expanded, and still I came back to George MacDonald time and time again.

There was a depth few authors reach, a place where it calls truth from the reader.  It grew a passion in me for literature that spoke life. I was now raising my children and The Lost Princess became a teaching tool for forming character in my beautiful daughters. I learned to my amazement that C.S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien were greatly influenced by George MacDonald. I read At the Back of the Back of the North Wind to my children on rainy home-school afternoons at my son's request.  

Something was sparked inside my mind when I began reading George MacDonald's books. In turn I have raised all five of my children to crave great literature.  For truly good literature should leave you changed and thinking. Great literature makes you look differently at the world, it creates in you a fuller imagination and a greater sense of wonder.  It weeds out the senseless stories that are only for momentary entertainment and makes you long for something more.