This is a moving love and loss story for fans of C.S.Lewis. It is an historical fiction based on the later life of Joy Davidman, and an intimate view into the private lives of two famous and remarkable individuals.
C.S. Lewis was a British writer, scholar, poet, imaginative genius, and lay theologian, best known for his insightful non-fiction works on the mysteries of faith, grief, and love, but also his fictions: The Screwtape Letters (a masterful satire about resistance to temptation) and The Chronicles of Narnia (a series of seven fantasy novels for children).
Joy Davidman was a brave and outspoken American award winning poet and novelist, a Jewish New York divorcee, a former atheist and ex-Communist–perhaps an unlikely choice for an author known for his writings on the Christian faith. But Lewis came to faith in God in a mysterious way, not unlike Joy’s own journey. They shared a love for reading and writing, debate and conversation, indeed their relationship started through letters.
Patti Callahan does a beautiful job of this biographical fiction, exploring their relationship but also delving into the challenges of their time. I was truly swept away by Callahan’s storytelling.
This book makes me want to disappear down the rabbit hole and reread C.S. Lewis’ books and find more books by Callahan. Coincidentally, she has just published another book called Once Upon a Wardrobe which attempts to answer the question “Where did the ideas for Narnia come from?”
I’m also interested to read a book by Joy’s son Douglas Gresham called Lenten Lands: My Childhood with Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis, in which he tells his side of the story as Joy’s son and Jack’s step-son. I’ve also just purchased a delightfully illustrated book of recipes of the foods featured in The Chronicles of Narnia series, entitled The Official Narnia Cookbook.
Ok, so if I disappear for awhile, I’ll either be in the wardrobe or in the kitchen…:) This short introduction by the author is worth viewing.