It has been a TV film, a Broadway play, a major movie, and two movie spin-offs – and now it is to be a novel.
Rose Sandy, executive publisher of Harper Inspire, has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Marly Rusoff of the Marly Rusoff Literary Agency in the fictional re-telling of one of the most famous love stories set in the world of books. Becoming Mrs Lewis by US writer Patti Callahan tells the story of the love affair between the US writer and poet Joy Davidman and C S Lewis – a story that William Nicholson told in the TV film "Shadowlands" in 1985, which subsequently became the Broadway play of the same name and then the feature film "Shadowlands" in 1993, which starred Anthony Hopkins as C S Lewis.
Callahan’s novel tells the story from Davidman’s point of view and the publisher believes it will introduce the famous love story to new readers. “The unconventional romance sparked between an ordinary woman across the Atlantic and one of England’s best known academics and theologians, is a historical-fiction treasure,” it said. “Bonding over a shared love of literature and ideas, Davidman and Lewis forge a deep connection.”
The couple met by letter at first, after Davidman wrote to the author for advice. They married in 1957, with the ceremony taking place at Davidman’s bedside in hospital, where she was being treated for cancer. When she died from the disease in 1960, at the age of 45, Lewis was heartbroken and poured his feelings into his famous book A Grief Observed.
Sandy said: “Patti Callahan has been very thorough in her research of Joy Davidman’s life and even worked with Joy’s son [by her first marriage] Douglas Gresham to bring us this fantastic work of fiction, based on a story that deserves to be remembered and retold.”
Callahan said: “I’m thrilled to introduce the fiery Joy Davidman and this improbable love story, told from her point of view to new readers, with the support of the dedicated team at Harper Inspire.”
Becoming Mrs Lewis will be published in paperback by Harper Inspire on 16th May. Read More
Published January 30, 2019
by Benedicte Page
"It's not supposed to be a technical biography of my mother. It's a novel. And it's a very good one. . . extraordinarily accurate. . . more accurate than most biographical essays that have been written about my mother."— Douglas Gresham, son of Joy Davidman, wife of C.S. Lewis.
A Heartrending Romance
COMING UK 16 MAY 2019
Poet, atheist and communist, New Yorker Joy Davidman is an unconventional woman – and an unlikely partner for an English academic and theologian.
And when she starts a correspondence with Narnia author C. S. Lewis, she isn't looking for love. Her own marriage crumbling, she seeks refuge in her work, and guidance from a writer she admires.
But in Joy's letters, Lewis discovers a kindred spirit, and an intellect equal to his own. Bonding over a shared love of literature and ideas, a deep connection is forged between the two.
Embarking on the adventure of a lifetime, Joy travels from America to England and back again. Facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, against all the odds, the couple struggle to secure a love that will endure forever.
About the Author
Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times best-selling author of fourteen novels, including the historical fiction, BECOMING MRS. LEWIS—The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis. Her fifteenth novel, THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER, (Southern Contemporary Fiction) will be published June 4, 2019, and available for pre-order now.
A full-time author and mother of three children, she now resides in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.