“Where’s Susan?” asked my daughter as I read to her The Last Battle, the final book in The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis.
Susan is the child queen who helped her siblings save Narnia from the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. However, she is conspicuously absent from an early scene in The Last Battle that includes every character who traveled to Narnia as a child.
“Daddy, where is she?” my daughter asked again.
“We’ll see,” I said, with a tinge of sadness.
Although I’ve read The Chronicles of Narnia dozens of times since I was a boy, Susan’s tragic end gets me every time. The book eventually reveals that Susan grows up and outgrows her love for Narnia. We get few details about her until the end of the book, when High King Peter responds to an inquiry into his sister’s whereabouts.
“My sister Susan,” answered Peter shortly and gravely, “is no longer a friend of Narnia.”“Yes,” said Eustace, “and whenever you’ve tried to get her to come and talk about Narnia or do anything about Narnia, she says, ‘What wonderful memories you have! Fancy your still thinking about all those funny games we used to play when we were children.’”“Oh, Susan!” said Jill. “She’s interested in nothing nowadays except nylons and lipstick and invitations. She always was a jolly site too keen on being grown-up.”“Grown-up, indeed,” said the Lady Polly. “I wish she would grow up. She wasted all her school time wanting to be the age she is now, and she’ll waste all the rest of her life trying to stay that age. Her whole idea is to race on to the silliest ...1
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