This is an insightful and engaging book that is very helpful as an interpretive guide to Tolkien's masterwork. It is of graduate school classroom caliber, but also accessible to the fan who understands there is more than just a great book or movie at work here. Themes of hope, love, friendship, courage, providence, grace, and redemption are covered. I found myself eagerly anticipating what each section of this book would cover, and enjoyed taking another look at the book. Though I have only read the Hobbit, and the Lord of the Rings in the past year, I have come to understand why it is the most important book from the 20th Century. These volumes have now taken their place in humility next to the Bible as the most influential writings in my life. Their lessons are as applicable to everyday life now as they were 50 years ago. I am enjoying sharing these compelling stories with my children, and hope to share them someday with my grandchildren. I am currently trying to convince my wife, a high school English teacher, to set aside her preference for all things Shakespearean and begin her own mission...quest...thing.