In the novel, Orual explains to the reader that she is writing a book that will explain to the Greeks what really happened to Psyche, her half-sister. In Greek mythology, Psyche displeased the gods when she looked upon Cupid. The gods gave her tasks to regain their favor, all of which seemed insurmountable. She completes them, of course.
Lewis, though, rewrites the myth from Orual’s point of view. She tells her side of the story and makes it her life’s work to bring charges against the gods for harming Psyche. She will write her charges in a book and have it delivered to the Greeks.
Towards the end of the novel, Orual tells of her desire to start writing the book. She says:
I could never be at peace again till I had written my charge against the gods. It burned me from within. It quickened; I was with book, as a woman is with child.
“I was with book.”
Strange that I hadn’t read a similar description in all my writing research. Had I just missed it? Yet there it was in a novel, a wonderful description of literary creation.
My story’s conception was easy. Now comes the real work: the nurturing of the story, its characters, themes, and plots. There’s much to do until it’s fully developed and ready to share with readers.
I am with book. What an enchanting place to be.