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From the New York Times bestselling author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis comes another tenderly imagined and enchanting story that pulls back the curtain on the early life of C. S. Lewis. 


"Harlan Coben Nov pick for classic literature fans." 

—Today Show   

"Best New Books of October 2021"


"Fall/Winter Reading List 2021-22"

—Deep South Magazine 

"Best Books of Fall 2021" 

 "30 New Books We're Reading This Autumn Season" (2022)

—Parade Magazine   

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"Earphones Award Winner" 

—Audiofile Magazine    

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 “Books to Gift This Holiday Season"

—Scoop Charlotte  

"10 must-read Southern books this fall."

—Atlanta Journal 

 “Best New Books for this Fall"

—Country Living 

"Fall releases offer 'can't miss' titles"

—The Augusta Chronicle 

“10 Most 

Anticipated Historical Fiction of Fall 2021”

" October’s  best books to savor in autumn"

—The Christian Science Monitor 

 “Top Picks for autumn from

UK Librarians"

—The Bookseller 

 “8 of This Fall’s Most-Anticipated Reads" 


 “#1 New Release
in Biographical Fiction" 


"Need to Read:
Winter 2021"

—Nantucket Magazine  

"November Book
Club Pick" 

—Emily Giffin Book Club 

"December Buddy Read Pick" 

—The Currently Reading Podcast 

"14 Best Historical Fiction of 2021"
The Buzz Magazines  

"The Southern Indie
Bestseller List #15

Hardcover Fiction" 

—The Southern Bookseller Review 

"4 new historical fiction novels to immerse you in imagination, love and war."

—Toronto Star Canada

"The Most Wonderful Books of the Year"

—Yesterday's Island: Today's Nantucket 


Book of the Month"

—50PlusToday Magazine  

"Independent bookstore Christmas favorites" 

 “New Featured

Releases Oct 19th" 



 “A Beautiful Escape"  

—Hello Canada  

 “November Book Club Pick" 

—Greater Houston Moms   

"Selected as Buzz Book of Fall 2021" 

 “Best book gifts according to local booksellers"  
—Greenville Journal  

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Praise for
Once Upon a Wardrobe

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Praise for
Once Upon a Wardrobe

Interior of Book Store

From Booksellers 

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“Indie Next Great Reads for  November 2021 ”

American Booksellers Association 

For classic literature fans
The Today Show |  Nov Book Pick  By Harlan Coben  

Full of magic, nostalgia, and a sister's love, Coben calls this novel "a love letter to those of us obsessed with C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series."
Harlan Coben #1 NYT bestselling Author  


“Callahan (Becoming Mrs. Lewis) once again visits the life and works of C. S. Lewis in this enlightening novel of logic and imagination, faith, and reason…this enchanting novel of faith and hope is a must-read for fans of C. S. Lewis. Readers will be eager to return to the world of “The Chronicles of Narnia” with new insights."

Library Journal (Starred Review

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"Once Upon a Wardrobe is a beautiful follow-up to Becoming Mrs. Lewis. It’s a love letter to books and stories with a meaningful message. Megs and her family learn that fantastical tales are more than mere ways to appease young children. Stories are nourishment for the souls that need joy the most, and sometimes they’re the only thing that can help us understand life.”

The Washington Post 

"A love letter to books and stories with a meaningful message."

Five (of 5) Shields

"Once Upon a Wardrobe is an enchanting and poignant winter’s tale about the world of Narnia and her creator that celebrates not only the wonder, adventure, escape, or the romance, but the consolation that friends of Narnia, and in fact lovers of all stories receive from those great tales worth telling. Not since I first saw the movie The Princess Bride, have I encountered a work that celebrates the joy of story
so beautifully. Add this one to your Christmas list and give it a good spot on your bookshelf.  You’ll be glad
you did. "

Tumnus’ Bookshelf: The Narniafans Book Reviews
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"Patti Callahan’s gentle novel contains beautifully cinematic images of snow, C.S. Lewis' childhood, and Oxford's medieval colleges...The novel offers a strong sense of the defining moments in Lewis’ life, as well as the mythical sources for the Chronicles of Narnia. It also shows how a writer’s life can inform fiction, and how stories offer meaning in times of trouble...
Once Upon a Wardrobe would make an ideal companion for family book clubs reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe together.

Book Page  

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Bedtime Story

"A charming look behind our favorite childhood stories."


“This is a heartwarming tale about the transformative power of books, with engaging and detailed descriptions. George’s earnestness and imaginative nature uplift his family and will charm any reader who enjoys looking at the stories behind our favorite childhood stories."

"This beautiful and soul-touching book is about death and dying, but it also reminds us that new chapters remain for those of us who are left behind.” 
Historical Novel Society

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“Exquisitely heartfelt, Once Upon a Wardrobe is a love letter to the magic of stories.  I call it 'the Callahan effect' — from the first page to the last, Patti Callahan's wise and beautiful prose draws you in and doesn’t let you go."

Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author of First Frost and Lost Lake

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“Each and every one of us is born with our own stories and we must decide how to tell them.”
Patti Callahan, Once Upon a Wardrobe.

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“I advise you to read this book, then wait for a while and then read it again, for while it may not be Narnia, there is magic in it.”

Douglas Gresham, C. S. Lewis’s stepson

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Once Upon a Wardrobe is a poignant meditation on the lengths we will go to for our loved ones as well as a fascinating glimpse into the early life of C.S. Lewis. Patti Callahan’s beautiful, life-affirming novel is a reminder that literature lives inside us, and that when we read someone else’s story, we understand so much more about our own. A gorgeous, compelling book."

Janet Skeslien Charles, award-winning author of The Paris Library

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"Readers will reach for ONCE UPON A WARDROBE again and again, eager to be reminded that love will prevail and imagination leads people down fantastical paths."
The Bookreporter 

"A tale of heartache, hope & discovery"


“With a touch of fairy tale magic, Once Upon a Wardrobe will take you behind the legend and deep into the English and Irish countryside, where you’ll encounter not only the inspirations for one of the 20th century’s most beloved works, but also a tale of heartache, hope, and discovery that will forever change the Narnia you thought you knew.”


Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars

"An enchanting tale for all ages."

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“In this powerful, enchanting tale for all ages, readers uncover the inspiration for Lewis' famous books, while at the same time discovering the way in which stories —and myths—weave through our existences, subtly transforming us in immeasurable ways. Stunning.”

Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling author of The Mystery of Mrs. Christie 

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"Callahan fans will love this." 


“Callahan (Becoming Mrs. Lewis) mines the life and work of C.S. Lewis in this enjoyable exploration of the power of imagination to see one through difficult times…the heartfelt characters will win over, sentimental readers. Callahan’s fans will love this.”

Publishers Weekly

"Once Upon a Wardrobe  tells the story of the inspirational threads author C. S. Lewis wove together in his 1950 fantasy novel for children, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.


“The broadly researched Once Upon a Wardrobe is written in enchanting language apropos to the setting’s time and place and regales the reader with little-known tidbits pertaining to the inspiration behind The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.


With elegant prose, Callahan invites the reader to intuit creativity’s source. Once Upon a Wardrobe is a captivating story for all ages; a standalone book combining fact, and fantasy, and its peek behind the curtain crafting is an important adjunct to C. S. Lewis’s Narnia chronicles." 

New York Journal of Books

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"Everything the world needs right now. " 


“Once Upon a Wardrobe is a tender, enchanting tribute to the power of story and the myriad ways it can both break and heal our hearts. It is the story of a dying boy and a loving sister and the path a treasured story takes from one heart to the other. Perfect and timely and beautiful and poignant, it is everything the world needs right now."


Ariel Lawhon, New York Times bestselling author of I Was Anastasia and Codename Helene

"Storytelling at its finest, deepest,
and most profound."

Snowy Night

"Enchanting and luminous, filled with the love of family, this is a story for anyone whose life has ever been changed by a book. Megs and George will stretch your heart, perhaps fracture it, then shine light through the cracks and send your spirit soaring. It is impossible not to be swept away by Patti Callahan’s exploration of what lies beneath C.S. Lewis’s beloved land of Narnia. This is storytelling at its finest, deepest, and most profound. A triumph."  


Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours and The Book of Lost Friends

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“I so loved this story.  Every page is filled with magic and wonder, with insight and wisdom.  

I am in awe of Patti Callahan’s talent."

Debbie Macomber #1 New York Times bestselling author

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“Beautiful, tender and poignant, ONCE UPON A WARDROBE is a rare treasure. Written with elegant prose, warmth, and a clear passion for her subject, Patti Callahan has crafted a love letter to beloved Narnia, and to the power of story to inspire, connect and heal. Truly magical."

Hazel Gaynor, New York Times and international bestselling author of When We Were Young and Brave

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“Once Upon a Wardrobe is a smart and subtle treatise on art, fiction, myth, fairy tale, make-believe, and finally truth, which is not a collection of facts but constructed by an infinite number of bits and pieces, tangled together, which make up a life story, make up a life.


I was impressed by this novel and also genuinely moved by it."

 Dr. Don Noble, scholar, radio host, book reviewer, and author of Alabama Noir


Plant Shadow

"Patti Callahan’s, "Once Upon a Wardrobe," is at its heart an origin story, but its own origins are clear.

Snowy Night

"This remarkably moving book deserves to be embraced and cherished as the classic it will undoubtedly become."

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“The stories of CS Lewis have long been a comfort and a beacon to me, lighting the way in my darkest hours. Reading Patti Callahan’s Once Upon a Wardrobe, I felt just as I did upon first discovering the wonders of Narnia: joy, hope, and the sustaining knowledge that grace, can be found in the pages of a beloved story. This remarkably moving book deserves to be embraced and cherished as the classic it will undoubtedly become.“

Jennifer Robson, internationally bestselling author of The Gown 


Christmas Snow
The ruins of the Dunluce Castle on the C

The Faun that inspired C. S. Lewis for the Narnia character Mr. Tumnus.
Door entrance. Located on St Mary's passage in Oxford (United Kingdom, England). 

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Worcestershire, England  

Book Setting:  Winter December, 1950.  Where George Henry Devonshire (8 yr old) resides with his sister Megs and parents.  

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Central Oxford, England in Winter

Where Megs attends University and visits C.S. Lewis and his brother to attain more stories of Narnia for George.  

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