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Review: Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

Summary

In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.

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.

Review

Becoming Mrs. Lewis, a historical fiction inspired by the life of Joy Davidman and her “relationship” with C.S. (Jake) Lewis. Fascinated by the person who became the spiritual & emotional muse to some of his most revered work, Becoming Mrs. Lewis delve more behind and gave a voice to a woman who had more to offer than being overshadowed by her famous husband.

Rooting from her fascination with Lewis at a young age along with piqued curiosity of who Joy was as a person, the author felt compared from their story to explore further. Sorting through what has been written over the years, this book rooted in fiction, touched upon the challenges she experienced at that time being a woman faced with the dutiful societal obligations versus her desire to be a writer, her life as a mother and her complicated relationship with Lewis.

So refreshing reading a strong female character, especially one that is progressive for her time. Resourceful and resilient, the strength that she clung to to endure the obstacles of the abuse of her first husband, her medical challenges and as you read the obstacles that came her way with her health, family and personal struggles, she found purpose and life through her friendship with Lewis.

Now, as lovely as their story developed, it drove me insane because I’m on the fence about the progression of their friendship/relationship. I’m torn because they developed a really genuine friendship through their correspondence and once a series of events happened that opened the door for something to happened to go further, we don’t experience what could’ve been until much later. I felt like, what we experienced in the end, I wish happened sooner because at least then they would experience what ends up happening in a different place. Trying not to give away anything but the wait for the walls to come down seemed forever. All in all, it was worth the wait because it showed the strength of was their true love was and how powerful when you are free from the shackles of your biggest fears how much greater life can be.

Overall, this was a really nice read. There are definitely some trials and tribulations through the experiences in this book of the lives of Joy and Jack. My only plea for selfish reasons is that I wish we could’ve got to have a little more time with Joy and Jack before the end in regards to the transition of their friendship but that’s the beauty of a fiction novel. We go wherever we are taken. I really enjoyed the other characters and what they brought to the book and their lives. I’d recommend adding this to your list.

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