Patti Callahan weaves a hypnotic historical fiction narrative of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis. In 1946, Joy is married to an unhappy man and doing her best to raise her two young boys and juggle a writing career. One day in her son’s nursery, her knees hit the floor as a religious experience shakes her to her core, and she decides to write to C.S. Lewis, who loves to answer letters, and ask him all of her questions about God. Joy is thrilled when Jack responds to her letter, and they start a long conversation across the ocean. When Joy’s health and marriage take a turn for the worse, she leaves home for a trip to England ... but as Joy is forced to return to her tattered American life in an attempt to make things right, she and Jack continue their pen-pal relationship, and she musters up the courage to divorce her husband and move her two boys to England ... Spanning more than a decade, this slow-burning love story will be especially satisfying to writers and C.S. Lewis fans...Callahan’s prose is heartfelt and full of grace.
Behind every great man is a great woman, as the saying goes, and for acclaimed author C.S. Lewis, that woman was writer Joy Davidman. Callahan brings to life the friendship turned romance between the two ... All fans of women’s fiction, particularly works with religious themes, will appreciate reading about this vibrant and intelligent woman.
Becoming Mrs. Lewis, written in first person from the viewpoint of Joy Davidman Lewis paints a vivid, realistic portrayal of a woman’s struggle to break through society’s narrow confines of womanhood in the 1950s ... In the opening section we are introduced to Joy, a young mother bound to an abusive spouse. When her husband, Bill, calls on the phone once again threatening suicide, something within Joy breaks and she falls to her knees. And it is in that moment that she has an encounter with grace so strong that it will define the rest of her life. This experience causes her to reach out for answers, and the answers she finds come from corresponding with C. S. Lewis ... For those fans of Lewis curious about the woman who inspired A Grief Observed this book offers a convincing, fascinating glimpse into the private lives of two very remarkable individuals.
...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 ... Making full use of historical documentation, Callahan has created an incredible portrait of a complex woman.