Patti Callahan

Becoming Mrs. Lewis: Expanded Edition (Paperback)

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<strong>From <em>New York Times</em> bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called &quot;my whole world.&quot; </strong> <p></p> <p>&quot;Luminous and penetrating.&quot; --Paula McLain, <em>New York Times </em>bestselling author</p> <p><strong>New expanded edition includes: </strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>a map of Oxford</strong></li> <li><strong>an expanded discussion guide with 20+ questions for book clubs</strong></li> <li><strong>a timeline of Jack's and Joy's Lives</strong></li> <li><strong>Joy's (imagined) letter to Jack</strong></li> <li><strong>10 Things You May Not Know About Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis's Love Story</strong></li> <li><strong>a behind-the-scenes essay: Oxford--The City</strong></li> </ul> <em><strong>In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.</strong></em> <p></p>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. <p></p> <p>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. </p> <p>At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer's life, <em>Becoming Mrs. Lewis</em> 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.</p> <p>&quot;Patti Callahan Henry breathes wondrous fresh life into one of the greatest literary love stories of all time . . . The result is a deeply moving story about love and loss that is transformative and magical.&quot; --Pam Jenoff, <em>New York Times</em> bestselling author of <em>The Orphan's Tale</em></p> <p> &quot;I was swept along, filled with hope, and entirely beguiled, not only by the life lived behind the veil of C. S. Lewis's books but also by the woman who won his heart. A literary treasure from first page to last.&quot; --Lisa Wingate, <em>New York Times</em> bestselling author of <em>Before We Were Yours</em></p> <p> &quot;Profoundly evocative, revealing an intimate view of a woman whose love and story had never been fully told . . . until now . . . <em>Becoming Mrs. Lewis</em> is a tour de force and the must-read of the season!&quot; --Mary Alice Monroe, <em>New York Times </em>bestselling author of <em>Beach House Reunion</em></p> <p>&quot;Patti Callahan somehow inhabits Davidman, taking her readers inside the writer's hungry mind and heart. We keenly feel Davidman's struggle to become her own person at a time (the 1950s) when women had few options . . . An astonishing work of biographical fiction.&quot; --Lynn Cullen, bestselling author of <em>Mrs. Poe</em></p> <p>&quot;Patti Callahan breathes life into this fascinating woman whose hunger for knowledge leads her to buck tradition at every turn.&quot; --Diane Chamberlain, <em>New York Times</em> bestselling author of <em>The Dream Daughter</em></p>

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From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called "my whole world."

"Luminous and penetrating." --Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author

New expanded edition includes:

  • a map of Oxford
  • an expanded discussion guide with 20+ questions for book clubs
  • a timeline of Jack's and Joy's Lives
  • Joy's (imagined) letter to Jack
  • 10 Things You May Not Know About Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis's Love Story
  • a behind-the-scenes essay: Oxford--The City
In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.

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.

"Patti Callahan Henry breathes wondrous fresh life into one of the greatest literary love stories of all time . . . The result is a deeply moving story about love and loss that is transformative and magical." --Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan's Tale

"I was swept along, filled with hope, and entirely beguiled, not only by the life lived behind the veil of C. S. Lewis's books but also by the woman who won his heart. A literary treasure from first page to last." --Lisa Wingate, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

"Profoundly evocative, revealing an intimate view of a woman whose love and story had never been fully told . . . until now . . . Becoming Mrs. Lewis is a tour de force and the must-read of the season!" --Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author of Beach House Reunion

"Patti Callahan somehow inhabits Davidman, taking her readers inside the writer's hungry mind and heart. We keenly feel Davidman's struggle to become her own person at a time (the 1950s) when women had few options . . . An astonishing work of biographical fiction." --Lynn Cullen, bestselling author of Mrs. Poe

"Patti Callahan breathes life into this fascinating woman whose hunger for knowledge leads her to buck tradition at every turn." --Diane Chamberlain, New York Times bestselling author of The Dream Daughter

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called "my whole world."

"Luminous and penetrating." --Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author

New expanded edition includes:

  • a map of Oxford
  • an expanded discussion guide with 20+ questions for book clubs
  • a timeline of Jack and Joy's Lives
  • Joy's (imagined) letter to Jack
  • 10 Things You May Not Know About Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis's Love Story
  • a Behind the Scenes Essay: Oxford--The City
In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.

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.

"Patti Callahan Henry breathes wondrous fresh life into one of the greatest literary love stories of all time . . . The result is a deeply moving story about love and loss that is transformative and magical." --Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan's Tale

"I was swept along, filled with hope, and entirely beguiled, not only by the life lived behind the veil of C. S. Lewis's books but also by the woman who won his heart. A literary treasure from first page to last." --Lisa Wingate, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

"Profoundly evocative, revealing an intimate view of a woman whose love and story had never been fully told . . . until now . . . Becoming Mrs. Lewis is a tour de force and the must-read of the season!" --Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author of Beach House Reunion

"Patti Callahan somehow inhabits Davidman, taking her readers inside the writer's hungry mind and heart. We keenly feel Davidman's struggle to become her own person at a time (the 1950s) when women had few options . . . An astonishing work of biographical fiction." --Lynn Cullen, bestselling author of Mrs. Poe

"Patti Callahan breathes life into this fascinating woman whose hunger for knowledge leads her to buck tradition at every turn." --Diane Chamberlain, New York Times bestselling author of The Dream Daughter

Specifications

Publisher
Thomas Nelson
Book Format
Paperback
Number of Pages
448
Author
Patti Callahan
Title
Becoming Mrs. Lewis: Expanded Edition
ISBN-13
9780785218098
Publication Date
March, 2020
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.00 x 6.00 x 1.50 Inches
ISBN-10
0785218092

Customer Reviews

Average Rating:(3.6)out of 5 stars
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Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars
While, this book is a ...
While, this book is a fiction, it felt very believable. I do not know much about C.S. Lewis's personal life. Therefore, to be it felt like he and Joy were destined to be together. Joy was more reserved then C.S. aka Jack. He went by Jack back than. Jack was more outgoing. Yet, as the saying goes "opposites attract". Which did they ever. Jack and Joy shared a true love connection within the letters that they corresponded with one another. Their love only grew as they hung out in each other's company. The more and more I read, the more I fell in love with their story. Example: When Jack proposes to Joy, she says "This might not be the most romantic proposal". He replies "It's not meant to be romantic. It's meant to be sincere." Remember Helen Joy Davidman D. July 1960 Loved wife of C.S. Lewis Here the whole world (stars, water, air And field, and forest, as they were Reflected in a single mind) Like cast off clothes was left behind In ashes yet with hope that she Re-born from holy poverty, In lenten lands, hereafter may Resume them on her Easter Day.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
I was very intrigued b...
I was very intrigued by the title and looked forward to reading this book. The story itself was interesting but the book was not to my taste at all. I did enjoy the ending the most, the story was less rambling then. First, as a Christian book, there was swearing, drinking to excess, sex all inappropriate. Second, the story was too rambling. It was done in the first person with a lot of her letters and thoughts without much action. It also jumped years and you didn't realize it immediately. I skipped a lot of pages and did not feel like I missed anything. The story could have been told in about half the pages it is now. Third, it needs editing. This will be addressed in the final version I hope as I read an ARC version. Last, and this is more on a personal side, I did not see true conversion in Joy until the very end though she claims to have been saved/converted years before but her behavior is not that of a Christian in my view. I give this 2 stars as some may enjoy the book, I did not. I would not recommend this to my friends. In full disclosure, I was given an ARC version of the book upon my request to read and review. The review is totally my own opinion.
Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars
While, this book is a ...
While, this book is a fiction, it felt very believable. I do not know much about C.S. Lewis's personal life. Therefore, to be it felt like he and Joy were destined to be together. Joy was more reserved then C.S. aka Jack. He went by Jack back than. Jack was more outgoing. Yet, as the saying goes "opposites attract". Which did they ever. Jack and Joy shared a true love connection within the letters that they corresponded with one another. Their love only grew as they hung out in each other's company. The more and more I read, the more I fell in love with their story. Example: When Jack proposes to Joy, she says "This might not be the most romantic proposal". He replies "It's not meant to be romantic. It's meant to be sincere." Remember Helen Joy Davidman D. July 1960 Loved wife of C.S. Lewis Here the whole world (stars, water, air And field, and forest, as they were Reflected in a single mind) Like cast off clothes was left behind In ashes yet with hope that she Re-born from holy poverty, In lenten lands, hereafter may Resume them on her Easter Day.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
I was very intrigued b...
I was very intrigued by the title and looked forward to reading this book. The story itself was interesting but the book was not to my taste at all. I did enjoy the ending the most, the story was less rambling then. First, as a Christian book, there was swearing, drinking to excess, sex all inappropriate. Second, the story was too rambling. It was done in the first person with a lot of her letters and thoughts without much action. It also jumped years and you didn't realize it immediately. I skipped a lot of pages and did not feel like I missed anything. The story could have been told in about half the pages it is now. Third, it needs editing. This will be addressed in the final version I hope as I read an ARC version. Last, and this is more on a personal side, I did not see true conversion in Joy until the very end though she claims to have been saved/converted years before but her behavior is not that of a Christian in my view. I give this 2 stars as some may enjoy the book, I did not. I would not recommend this to my friends. In full disclosure, I was given an ARC version of the book upon my request to read and review. The review is totally my own opinion.
While, this book is a fiction, it felt very believable. I do not know much about C.S. Lewis's personal life. Therefore, to be it felt like he and Joy were destined to be together. Joy was more reserved then C.S. aka Jack. He went by Jack back than. Jack was more outgoing. Yet, as the saying goes "opposites attract". Which did they ever. Jack and Joy shared a true love connection within the letters that they corresponded with one another. Their love only grew as they hung out in each other's company. The more and more I read, the more I fell in love with their story. Example: When Jack proposes to Joy, she says "This might not be the most romantic proposal". He replies "It's not meant to be romantic. It's meant to be sincere." Remember Helen Joy Davidman D. July 1960 Loved wife of C.S. Lewis Here the whole world (stars, water, air And field, and forest, as they were Reflected in a single mind) Like cast off clothes was left behind In ashes yet with hope that she Re-born from holy poverty, In lenten lands, hereafter may Resume them on her Easter Day.
I was very intrigued by the title and looked forward to reading this book. The story itself was interesting but the book was not to my taste at all. I did enjoy the ending the most, the story was less rambling then. First, as a Christian book, there was swearing, drinking to excess, sex all inappropriate. Second, the story was too rambling. It was done in the first person with a lot of her letters and thoughts without much action. It also jumped years and you didn't realize it immediately. I skipped a lot of pages and did not feel like I missed anything. The story could have been told in about half the pages it is now. Third, it needs editing. This will be addressed in the final version I hope as I read an ARC version. Last, and this is more on a personal side, I did not see true conversion in Joy until the very end though she claims to have been saved/converted years before but her behavior is not that of a Christian in my view. I give this 2 stars as some may enjoy the book, I did not. I would not recommend this to my friends. In full disclosure, I was given an ARC version of the book upon my request to read and review. The review is totally my own opinion.

Frequent mentions

1-5 of 11 reviews
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

While, this book is a ...

While, this book is a fiction, it felt very believable. I do not know much about C.S. Lewis's personal life. Therefore, to be it felt like he and Joy were destined to be together. Joy was more reserved then C.S. aka Jack. He went by Jack back than. Jack was more outgoing. Yet, as the saying goes "opposites attract". Which did they ever. Jack and Joy shared a true love connection within the letters that they corresponded with one another. Their love only grew as they hung out in each other's company. The more and more I read, the more I fell in love with their story. Example: When Jack proposes to Joy, she says "This might not be the most romantic proposal". He replies "It's not meant to be romantic. It's meant to be sincere." Remember Helen Joy Davidman D. July 1960 Loved wife of C.S. Lewis Here the whole world (stars, water, air And field, and forest, as they were Reflected in a single mind) Like cast off clothes was left behind In ashes yet with hope that she Re-born from holy poverty, In lenten lands, hereafter may Resume them on her Easter Day.

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

I love C.S. Lewis and ...

I love C.S. Lewis and even studied his life and works in college-so when I heard there was a story about his wife, the book immediately became a highly anticipated read! And upon reading "Becoming Mrs. Lewis," I was happy to discover that the author, Ms. Callahan, possesses a superb and very engaging writing style! "Becoming Mrs. Lewis" by Patti Callahan is the story of Joy and how she became C.S. Lewis's wife (hence the title). It's not as much a love story as more of a picture of Joy's journey (intellectual, spiritual and physical). Joy Davidman struggles with a lot at the beginning of the book. It is a raw portrait of a woman in a bad situation, who sometimes makes wrong choices. She tries to find God in the midst of her struggles and to make sense of things. She is somewhat of a feminist and ahead of her time. She has a lot of courage. I love reading the letters between Joy and C.S. Lewis as she reaches out to him and they develop a strong friendship. I did start to question her feelings for Lewis though and the decisions she made while still married to another man. But I was so happy to see that she realizes her obsessive love for Lewis and that all of her life she's been going to the wrong places to find the love she desires. Instead of seeking men to find the love she needs, she needs to go to God for this love-and she does! I was also happy that Lewis kept his distance and did not allow anything to happen while she was still married. For all the C.S. Lewis fans, there are plenty of nuggets about Lewis sprinkled throughout the book, on both his life and writing. Ms. Callahan obviously did extensive research. I love getting to hear a lot of Lewis's thoughts and references to his works. His discussions with Joy are fascinating. I especially love when they talk about and describe "fairy land" and their longing for it. It is interesting to hear Lewis describe his conversion, which came about by a conversation with J.R.R. Tolkien (author of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings") about the One True Myth (Christ and the Kingdom of God). I do remember hearing in college some controversial things about Lewis and his relationship with Joy. Lewis wasn't always a conventional, conservative Christian. I think instead of trying to glorify Lewis and Joy, the author seeks to portray a portrait of two people with human sins and struggles, who also love God and have both contributed great works to Christian literature and thinking. Content: I give this book a PG-13 rating and it's more geared towards adults. Some examples of the content are: a child is physically abused; a man has PTSD; a woman's husband has an affair and drinks; a woman curses, but the word isn't actually written; a man attempted suicide in the past; a woman had an affair with a married man; a man smokes; the main character recalls her experience of seeing a person commit suicide; a reference to making love; the Lord's name is taken in vain; talk of affairs and sex (nothing explicit). Rating: I give this book 4 stars. Genre: Christian fiction; Historical fiction; Romance I want to thank TLC Book Tours, Patti Callahan and Thomas Nelson for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's CFR 16, Part 255.

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

I will start out telli...

I will start out telling you that I've never read anything by Joy Davidman or C.S. Lewis - yes, I've heard of C.S. Lewis but for some reason have never read his books. Despite the fact that I went into this novel very blind to the two main characters and the biographies written about them , I found this to be a well written, emotional novel. I am now very interested in their lives and plan to read some of the books by both authors. In the late 40s, Joy was in a loveless marriage with two young sons. She was an author and a poet and searching for answers in life when she started writing letters to CS Lewis, one of the most influential and intelligent Christian authors of the 20th century. Despite the fact that Joy was an American and a feminist, she and Jack (CS Lewis) became great friends. When her health deteriorated, she went to England to recover and spent time with Jack and their friendship deepened. 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. 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. This was a lovely well researched novel that shows the strength of these two people that grew even stronger as their relationship became more solid. Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

Becoming Mrs. Lewis is...

Becoming Mrs. Lewis is billed as historical fiction, as it details the life of Joy Davidman and her relationship with C.S. Lewis. It is indeed historical in nature, how could it not be, but I would describe it as biographical fiction, since it is told in the first person voice of Joy Davidman. While this was very effective in relating to her character, I had to remind myself over and over that this book is fiction. The emotions portrayed and the scenes depicted are so realistic, that the book can easily be believed as coming directly from Davidman's own private journals. Yet as the author states in the Afterword, no correspondence between Davidman and Lewis exists. Callahan did a commendable job in distilling the articles and books written about the pair, as well as transcripts of others' recollections and letters, and speeches given by the two. She uses the published works of both Davidman and Lewis to piece together what their life looked like. And this intimate novel does just that. The story that emerges is a fascinating journey of faith and love. Davidman's relationship with Lewis is at the forefront, but the most moving scenes of this book are her encounters with God. Her life was messy and sorrow-filled, yet touched with the grace of God. But if you are fan of traditional Christian fiction, you may be surprised or even offended by Becoming Mrs. Lewis. I was not. Too often the christian life is viewed as a one time salvation experience that instantly changes one from sinful to holy. And yes, when saved by Jesus, we take on His righteousness - His being the operative word. Unfortunately for most, if not all of us, we struggle with the same old sin nature, the desires of our flesh, and the influence of our world and experiences. Joy wrestled with that, for which I am thankful to the author. Here was a woman who was influential in Christian circles in her own right, but also was a large influence on the later writings of Lewis. But she continued to be flawed and falling, yet ever loved by God. That is how I would describe Joy Davidman, and how I would describe myself. There is a lot of drinking in the book; some casual/social and some to excess and abuse. There is talk of sex and affairs and fleshly desires. And that might not appeal to all readers of CF, but it is a realistic portrayal of a life that strived to live for God. I recommend Becoming Mrs. Lewis wholeheartedly. Recommended. Audience: adults.

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

Lindas Book Obsession...

Linda's Book Obsession Reviews "Becoming Mrs. Lewis; The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis Thomas Nelson, Oct. 2, 2018 Patti Callan, Author of "Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis, has written a thought-provoking and intriguing novel. The Genres for this book are a combination of  Historical Fiction and Fiction. The author describes her characters as complex and complicated. Joy Davidman, poet and writer starts questioning spiritual answers for things. She is unhappy in her marriage.  Joy starts corresponding with C.S. Lewis, the author of  "Narnia". C.S.Lewis , also known as Jack enthusiastically writes back to Joy. The two bond over letters, and Joy travels to England. Jack has been a bachelor, and lives with his brother.  When Joy returns to America, she finds betrayal by her husband, and is determined  to take her sons back to England with her. Joy finds her inspiration to write in England, and makes friends. Often Jack and Joy read each other's work, and sometimes, Joy will type up  Jack's stories. Joy lived at a time, where women were not as independent as today. She also voiced her opinions freely.  Joy was a mother, as well as an author and writer. This is a well written book about love of literature and seeking love. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy Historical Fiction.


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