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"10 must-read Southern books this fall."

—Atlanta Journal 


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. 

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Praise for
Once Upon a Wardrobe

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"Selected as Buzz Book of Fall 2021" 

Once Upon a Wardrobe label with Douglas

“10 Most 

Anticipated Historical Fiction of Fall 2021”

 “Best New Books for
this Fall"

—Country Living 

 “Top Picks for autumn
from UK Librarians"

—The Bookseller 

Readers will be eager to return to
"The Chronicles of Narnia." 

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“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

"A charming look behind our favorite childhood stories."

" The Callahan Effect" 


“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."


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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

“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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lives inside us"

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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


"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 

"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


"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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“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 


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Snowy Night

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

The ruins of the Dunluce Castle on the Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland

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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