I am reposting this 2016 review because the Kindle Edition is on sale for $1.99.
Summary: CS Lewis imagines Heaven and Hell.
Fiction is important for working through difficult ideas. I think many people underestimate the power of fiction to help readers understand difficult concepts.
This is my second or third reading of the Great Divorce. Lewis is not writing a systematic theology of heaven and hell and the afterlife. He is instead exploring some of our preconceptions. Lewis is not only a very talented author, but he has a way of approaching topics that seem to be continuously relevant.
The book opens with the narrator in a great city that is always at dusk. He rides on a bus to what we understand as the gates of heaven. Theologically Lewis is on somewhat shaky ground here. Lewis believes in purgatory, but many of his readers do not. The narrator and the other passengers are being given the opportunity to leave purgatory and enter heaven. But many of them choose to return and for them it will be their eternal hell.
What is important about this book is the concept that hell is a choice to reject God and what God wants for us. There are many profound thoughts here. But I am not going to point them out. Instead I encourage you to watch this video by Bishop Robert Barron. Like myself, he listened to the Great Divorce on audiobook while driving. He pulls some of the rich moments of the book. It is a spoiler filled discussion, but really the book is not altered by the spoilers.