Novel set in Oxford – Becoming Mrs Lewis by Patti Callahan
The story of CS Lewis and Mrs Lewis, their letters and love
Who was the man behind such great childhood reads as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? CS Lewis brought joy to millions across the world when he created Narnia and made climbing into wardrobes more fun than ever before. What was the great man like himself however? Did he have a happy life? In this Novel set in Oxford – Becoming Mrs Lewis by Patti Callahan, the story becomes clear…
This is the fictional story, but one based on true fact, of the marriage of CS Lewis to New Yorker Joy Davidman, seen through her eyes….
I always enjoy these stories where someone has fictionalised a story that is based on the life of a great literary figure. In this case, it’s CS Lewis and his wife Joy Davidson. They were penpals and wrote letters to each other before she emigrated from the USA and moved to Oxford to be with him.
She brings with her two sons and she’s looking for happiness after everything she’s been through. She is a strict Christian and seeks answers she can’t find elsewhere. She finds something in CS Lewis, and he, in her. I found this part of the book to be really uplifting – when Joy begins to explore and test her faith. This is how she starts writing to C.S. Lewis, about questions of faith, but their letters, going back and forth across the ocean soon bound them in ways no one could have imagined.
This is the story of their lives and the obstacles they both face along the way. There’s some very emotional scenes here so be aware! It’s fascinating to see behind the scenes of such a famous author and his wife. The man who brought so much joy to readers and still does: you want him to have been happy and settled himself. The man behind Narnia! There is some magic in his life, but a lot of sadness and seen through the eyes of Joy, this story allows you to see a lot of what you might not see if this story had been written by Lewis himself.
This novel however is not just the love story of Joy and Jack. It’s an ode to literature – their ode to books and stories everywhere. There’s a lot to enjoy here and it’s a fascinating insightful read into the world of books, love letters and one of the greatest writers of his time and his wife – she who was so important to him in so many ways. I love it when the story of a writer’s life tells a story of its own!
Very interesting and a great way of mixing fact and fiction!