Becoming Mrs. Lewis

BECOMING MRS. LEWIS

Patti Callahan

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. 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,

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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. 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 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.

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  • Thomas Nelson
  • Hardcover
  • October 2018
  • 416 Pages
  • 9780785224501

Buy the Book

$25.99

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About Patti Callahan

Patti CallahanNew York Times bestselling author, Patti Callahan was a finalist in the Townsend Prize for Fiction, an Indie Next Pick, and a multiple nominee for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Novel of the Year. The mother of three children, she lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.

Author Website

Praise

“Patti Callahan seems to have found the story she was born to tell in this tale of unlikely friendship turned true love between Joy Davidman and C.S Lewis.… revealing a connection so persuasive and affecting, we wonder if there’s another like it in history. Luminous and penetrating.”—Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife

“Patti Callahan has written my favorite book of the year . . . It is both a meditation on marriage and a whopping grand adventure. Touching, tender, and triumphant, this is a love story for the ages.”—Ariel Lawhon, author of I Was Anastasia

“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

Discussion Questions

1. Did you know much about Joy Davidman before you read this novel? Did you come with preconceived notions of who she was? How did those change during the novel? What was the most surprising part of this story for you?

2. Not many people supported Joy’s choices to first travel to England and then move there. There also didn’t seem to be much support from Jack’s friends as their friendship and then love story blooms. How did Joy find the strength to overcome the resistance? How did they survive this disapproval to come together? What were the strengths that allowed them to resist the naysayers?

3. How did the time and place – 1950s England when women weren’t even admitted to Magdalen College where Jack taught – affect their love story? Would it be different today? How would this story be different today?

4. Joy often thought about her past—both her love affairs and her family life. How did the past influence her personality and decisions? How did it affect her self-esteem and self-love? How did she come out on the other side?

5. Joy and Jack enjoyed an almost three-year pen-friendship before ever meeting. Can friendships begin with words and notes? Can one become friends through letters alone? Can we be more vulnerable on paper than in face-to-face contact?

6. We meet many famous people along Joy’s journey —J. R. R. Tolkien, Travers, Belle Kaufman, Michal Williams and many others. How do these people influence Joy’s path to love? Were they as famous then as we deem them to be now or were they just other friends on the road to self-discovery? Did this ensemble of literary friends change Joy’s path?

7. Many of Jack’s last books, most notably, Till We Have Faces, were shaped by his friendship and love with Joy. Can you see her life and influence in his works written after 1950? If so, which ones and how? How did their co-writing, editing and long talks affect his work?