Becoming Mrs Lewis

Becoming Mrs Lewis


A novel about 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 travelled 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.

Our Review

I was looking forward to reading Becoming Mrs Lewis by Patti Callahan after reading the blurb shortly before compiling my 29 Great Books to Look Out For Autumn 2018. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Joy Davidman began writing to C.S. Lewis during a dark period in her life when she was looking for spiritual guidance and friendship.

She was struggling to write her poetry whilst looking after her children and trying to maintain a relationship with her alcoholic husband. During this time, she found God and began her search on all things spiritual.

One day she stumbled on an article about C. S. Lewis and his beliefs and began to write letters to him.

At some point during their correspondence Joy travelled to meet C.S. Lewis or ‘Jack’ as he was known to her. Then after some time their friendship grew into something more and led to him eventually calling her ‘his whole world.’

Patti Callahan has a beautiful writing style which made it a pleasure to read and I would still consider reading one of her other books but this one wasn’t entirely my cup of tea. However, it wasn’t through any fault of the author as the main thing I disliked about this book was the excessive talk about Christianity in the letters between the couple.

I knew nothing about their relationship prior to starting Becoming Mrs Lewis, and I knew nothing about C.S. Lewis himself apart from knowing he had written the Narnia books. If I had known more about either half of the couple I may have realised that their might have been a lot of theological discussion in the portrayal of the letters between the two and I might not have chosen to read it.

However, I did enjoy the rest of the book and I felt the author did a very good job of explaining what life was like for Joy whilst living with her alcoholic husband.

A particular favourite of mine in the book was the author’s description of the lions at the zoo in the Bronx.

“They indulged me with a return gaze their warm weight, pressed into my palm, and I knew that capture had damaged their souls.”

One other thing I liked about Becoming Mrs Lewis was the way in which the author was able to place their relationship within the context of the time they were together. For example, the way Joy had to put her writing on hold to look after her children and house whilst her husband was able to write freely whenever he chose.

Becoming Mrs Lewis may not have been completely the book for me but I would recommend it to those who like fiction about literary figures and well-written literature in general.

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 3.5/5

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