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Publishers Weekly Starred Review: Becoming Mrs. Lewis


"Making full use of historical documentation, Callahan has created an incredible portrait of a complex woman.” —Publisher's Weekly Starred Review

Callahan (The Bookshop at Water’s End) vividly enters the life of a woman searching for both God and romantic love in this pleasing historical novel about writer and poet Joy Davidman. In 1946, Joy lives in Ossining, N.Y., with her alcoholic husband, Bill Gresham, and her two small sons. In a moment of desperation, she prays to a God she doesn’t believe in and experiences feeling “fully known and loved.” Three years later, now deeply considering Christianity, she writes to Christian apologist C.S. Lewis with her questions about God. He responds, beginning a long-term correspondence in which Joy finds “peace, connection, and intellectual intimacy.” By 1952, she wants to leave her unfaithful, abusive husband, but sees no way out. She does manage to take a much-needed physical and mental respite, heading to England for six months and falling in love with both England and Lewis; her only regret is leaving behind her sons. But, even after Bill and Joy divorce, Lewis at first keeps their relationship platonic, and Joy must search for true love and fulfillment through her relationship with God. Making full use of historical documentation, Callahan has created an incredible portrait of a complex woman. (Oct.)





Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis

Patti Callahan.

Thomas Nelson, $25.99 (432p)

ISBN 978-0-78522-450-1

Publishers Weekly Starred Review

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Follow the Journey with Joy & Patti



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.



About the Book


From New York Times, bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters.


Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.


In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.


At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.


Tags: #PW #bookreview #becomingmrslewis #patticallahan #historicalficiton #romance #christian #spiritual #literary #cslewis #joydavidman


© 2019 by Patti Callahan Henry

patti@patticallahanhenry.com

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