Join us to read Northern Lights

In Book Review, Miscellaneous, Reading Groups on August 3, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Join us as we enter Pullman’s fantasy world Northern Lights, where demons swoop and scuttle along the streets of London and Oxford, where the mysterious Dust swirls invisibly through the air, and where only one child knows secrets the adults would kill for.

Lyra lives in a society where everyone’s soul is separate and visible. For every individual shares the journey of his life with a daemon, an animal form which stays close and shares all intimate thoughts and which by its very appearance can reflect the most subtle state of mind. Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon enjoy a carefree existence as an orphan under the haphazard care of Jordan College in Oxford. There she plays with her friend Roger the kitchen boy, running wild in the College grounds, up on the roofs and down in the crypt.

But a morbid fear lurks in Lyra’s world. Children are disappearing, seduced somehow from the slums, vulnerable children who are unlikely to be missed. No one knows what happens to them for they are never heard of again, taken by the Gobblers. When the Gobblers strike in Oxford their appearance coincides with that of the strangely compelling Mrs Coulter who distracts Lyra from the alarming loss of Roger. Lyra begins to fear that Mrs Coulter is responsible for the abduction of the children and she determines to uncover the truth behind the Gobblers and what goes on at the Experimental Station in the remote north. There may also be a chance to rescue Roger.

In the ensuing mission Lyra pits Good against Evil. And the Witches of the North hint at her fulfillment of a prophecy.

This is a book to be read on many levels. It can be read as a straightforward  adventure. But there are some challenging themes to ponder

Is the human soul separate from the human body? Does the soul die when the body dies? Can we commit a sin if we do not have a soul? Can we be rescued from the burden of original sin?

Is there a parallel universe?

What did you think about Pullman’s depictions of an arctic wonderland?

We look forward to your comments


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