Review of “Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis” by Patti Callahan

Callahan, Patti. Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2018. 

Hardcover | $25.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0785224501 | 416 pages | Historical Fiction

5 stars

Becoming Mrs. Lewis was a wonderful surprise. I knew vague details about C.S. Lewis’ marriage to Joy Davidman from the basic research I did into Lewis upon reading the Narnia books years ago, but did not realize Joy was a talented writer in her own right, not to mention the role she played in inspiring some of Lewis’ major works in the last decade of his life.

Callahan brings Joy to life beautifully, capturing a woman who grows in faith, even while her life continues to throw trials at her, both professional and personal. I loved the way her relationship with C.S. Lewis developed, beginning first as one concerning spiritual similarities, then beginning to grow into a deeper friendship, and eventually, love. And I love that, even though she was very much his muse for his later work, I like that the story conveys that they were also equals, in the same way that he would have been with his fellow “Inklings.”

And while “Jack” and Joy were the focus, I love how well-drawn and complex some of the secondary characters were, even if we do see them from a limited perspective. Warren “Warnie” Lewis is someone I’m now curious to know more about, because I love the snapshot I got of his relationship with his brother, with them essentially being two bachelor scholars for most of their lives and living together for decades.

I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone, especially historical/biographical fiction lovers, whether they’ve read a book by C.S. Lewis and/or Joy Davidman or not.

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