Book Review of
Becoming Mrs. Lewis
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, that tests the bounds of faith and radically alters both of their lives. Their connection comes to life in Callahan’s expert hands, 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
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. 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.
I rarely quit a book. I can’t remember the last one I didn’t finish. But I just couldn’t finish this one, and I gave up on it the other day.
I have read a ton of great reviews on this book, but I am going to go against popular opinion on this one. This book just wasn’t for me.
I read fiction, but I almost always prefer nonfiction over fiction when it comes to reading about real people. Grace told me not to bother reading Becoming Mrs. Lewis because she knows what I usually think about books like this. She didn’t think I would like it. I kept seeing great reviews so I decided to give it a try. I should have listened to her because she was right. I couldn’t get passed the fact that this was fake letters and fake conversations between two famous people. Yes, it was based on facts, but there were so many liberties taken with history. Too many for me. Too many fake letters and conversations with no way to back them up.
And I realize that C.S. Lewis was not perfect. He was a man. Although he was an amazing thinker some of his opinions and views were off. I know that. But so many conversations and letters in this book just seem out of character for what we know about C.S. Lewis. He wasn’t perfect, but I can’t imagine him saying some of the things the author has him saying and doing in this book.
I also couldn’t get passed the sexual stuff in this book and some of the things it glorified or at least seemed to. Some people call this a Christian romance, and I totally disagree with that. It has too many details in my opinion for the Christian romance category.
Will I give this author another try by reading another book by her? Yes, probably. But this book just wasn’t for me.
And a lot of people don’t think you should give bad reviews like this, but I know a lot of people have similar reading tastes that we I do. If you know little or nothing about C.S. Lewis, you might really enjoy this book. But if you know a lot about history, C.S. Lewis, or his writings, I would stick with the nonfiction books about him.
Have you read it? What are your thoughts?