Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Becoming Mrs. Lewis, a review


I can blame this book for needing an extra cup of coffee this morning as I was awake past midnight reading it.  I could not go to sleep until I had finished the story. This is one of the most remarkable novels I have ever read.

I was interested in the novel because of my interest in all things C. S. Lewis.  I knew something about Joy and their relationship through the movie Shadowlands (understanding that it is a Hollywood version of their relationship) and Lewis' book A Grief Observed.  Even then, I wasn't sure what to expect.

First I will say that Patti Callahan has a way with words that draws us into the story as if we are really hearing Joy's thoughts and words first hand.  She begins by taking us into Joy's life with her alcoholic and manipulative husband and their relationship as a family and as writers.

We then journey with her to England to do research and her meeting with C. S. Lewis, with whom she has been corresponding.  We are with her as she becomes close to Lewis and his brother.  We follow along with her struggles and her fears as she comes to realize her marriage will officially end in divorce. 

Along the way, we come to experience the beauty of London and Oxford, as well as what it is like to live in England so soon after the war.  We walk with Joy as she allows this beauty to heal her soul as well as her body.  For the author takes us into Joy's spiritual journey along the way and her unlikely path from a Jewish Atheist Communist to becoming a true believer in Christ.

We end up with Joy and her sons moving to England and her relationship with Lewis, his brother, and his friends.  We feel her struggle as she loves Lewis but is not sure it can ever be anything more than deep friendship.  Then we are there for the rest of the story.  Which I will leave for you to enjoy for one should never tell the ending, even if it is well known in history.

I highly recommend Becoming Mrs. Lewis.  It already has a place on my "All Time Favorite Books" list.  You do not have to be a fan of Lewis and England to enjoy it but if you are... this will become a favorite book for you, too.

Becoming Mrs. Lewis was provided by the publisher for the sake of review but the opinions are my own.

Further information can be found.. here.

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8 comments:

Sherry said...

i was wondering about this book..
thank you for the review. i've saved
it to my wish list (need to also
save up a few pennies before buying..). ♥

Vee said...

It had to be a wonderful read for you to place it on your list of all-time favorites. I am so not a fan of historical fiction that I am not a hundred per cent sure of taking the leap, but you I can trust. ☺

Carol OurSearsKitHome said...

I was wondering if it was about Joy Lewis, I hoped it was.....I'll have to read it!

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I can’t wait to read it!

Little Penpen said...

I saw this advertised on a tv somewhere yesterday. It looks like one I want to read, for sure!

becka said...

I also saved this to my wish list. I recently read a book written by Joy's son, Douglas Gresham. The book is called Lenten Lands, My Childhood with Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis. I would be glad to send you the book if you would like it.

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

I loved reading Joy Davidman's story Lenten Lands years ago, so I'm really looking forward to this new book about her and C.S. Lewis's story. Thanks for a lovely review.

Brenda L.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda, I’ve been wanting to email this to you for 2-3 weeks but the email listed on your blog doesn’t work for me. Have you heard of the book, A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken? My husband and I received it at a marriage retreat several years ago. It is a book about a couple’s love story, their marriage, coming to faith, and faith in the midst of tragedy. The reason I think of you when I read it is because C.S. Lewis became a very dear personal friend and spiritual father to them while they studied in Oxford, and 18 of his letters are included in the book. I think he writes about his wife in the last few letters. I also believe that Lewis’ book, A Grief Observed, if I remember correctly, was written from his own experience with grief, but after reading A Severe Mercy, I could see how his friendship with Mr. Vanauken may have influenced some of it as well. I think Vanauken references this in his book. I had never heard of A Severe Mercy before the retreat we attended, and I have never heard of it since. While it is not a book about C.S. Lewis, for anyone who loves C.S. Lewis, it is like finding a treasure within a treasure.

I have followed your blog for several years. I learn so much from you, and am inspired and encouraged. I really enjoy your book reviews, I have found some favorites thanks to you - An Everlasting Meal being one, and books by Elizabeth Goudge being some others. I also found Annabelle and the ladies over at the Bluebirds blog, that’s another favorite.

So, thank you! I pray for you often.

-Amy