The Improbable Love Story Between Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis
“What in the world would ever become of us if we should ever grow brave?”
Joy Davidman is a writer and poet living in Ossining NY in 1946. She is locked in a loveless marriage with her alcoholic husband, Bill Gresham, and their two young sons. In a moment of desperation, she says a prayer to a God she doesn’t believe in and has an overwhelming experience that causes her to want to find out more about Christianity. She writes to Christian apologist C. S. Lewis with questions about God. Lewis responds, beginning a long-term correspondence between the two. Joy finds friendship, solace and wisdom in the letters she receives.
By 1952, her husband is both unfaithful and abusive, but Joy can find no way out. Her health is suffering from the stress, and she is under doctors orders to rest. She heads to England for six months, where she meets Lewis for the first time. She falls in love with both England and Lewis, but ultimately must return to the US. There, she is fully committed to divorcing her husband, and returning to England with her two sons. Once she returns to England, Joy is ever hopeful her platonic relationship with Jack, will be transformed into something more.
“You tolerate what you must when it becomes your reality.”
“God might not fix things for me, but he would be with me in whatever waited ahead, that was clear.”
BECOMING MRS. LEWIS is a fascinating historical love story of two literary giants. Joy was a intelligent and strong woman with a voice far ahead of her time. Patti Callahan Henry has recreated the exquisite details of the improbable friendship and ultimate romance between two people a world apart geographically, spiritually, and emotionally.
I particularly loved Henry’s vivid descriptions of Lewis’s home, The Kilns, as well as the depictions of the joy-filled times the two shared together, going for walks or sitting in front of the fireplace sharing stories. While this is a work of historical fiction, readers of C. S. Lewis will absolutely love a glimpse at the personal surroundings, thoughts and feelings of the man behind the beloved characters of Aslan and Wormwood.
Henry’s writing is evocative and masterful. She was inspired to write the story because of her love for the fascinating works of C. S. Lewis. Once she read Lewis’s A Grief Observed, she was committed to finding out more about the women he loved so fiercely he called her “his whole world.” Henry researched Joy’s writing and traveled to the Wade Center at Wheaton College where Joy’s papers are kept alongside C.S. Lewis’s. BECOMING MRS. LEWIS is her fourteenth novel.
“We can’t just surrender to our every desire. Man must have his principles and live by them regardless. Our nature must must be controlled or it can ruin our lives.”
Publisher Thomas Nelson
Published October 2, 2018
Narrated Lauren Woodward