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Becoming Mrs. Lewis

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  24,570 ratings  ·  3,796 reviews
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, n
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Thomas Nelson
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Sara I just finished listening in Libby and the narrator was fabulous! She did a great job switching between Joy's American "accent" and the British accent…moreI just finished listening in Libby and the narrator was fabulous! She did a great job switching between Joy's American "accent" and the British accent of "Jack" (C.S. Lewis) I felt as though Joy were reading her own story. I found the narrator's name in a Google search--Lauren Woodward. Her voice was the perfect complement to Patti Callahan's writing.(less)
Katie I'm answering this as a Christian. Since their friendship begins based on their friendship which started because of her conversion, I'm not sure you c…moreI'm answering this as a Christian. Since their friendship begins based on their friendship which started because of her conversion, I'm not sure you can get through it without that element. I learned much about his writing (which is very Christ-focused), but even more about a beautiful love story. They don't just meet, hook up and get married ... it's a true story of love with all aspects of love including friendship, deep agape, and sacrifice for one another. I don't think the Christian elements will hit you over the head - but they are very present throughout the book as Joy helped Jack write a lot of his later works and they discussed them deeply. I hope that helps!(less)

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Average rating 4.05  · 
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Lisa Wingate
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Pulled me in, kept me up, left me joyful. Need I say more?

In case you aren't yet persuaded to snatch up this beautiful book for your reading stack, let me add that Patti Callahan's writing is at times so breathtaking, as a writer, I paused to reread a turn of phrase. As magical as the writing is, though, the novel's true magic is the revelation of the man behind the stories we all know and the woman, the outsider, who captured his heart. Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis were an unlikely match, separa
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
This is some kind of special! 5 stars! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Patti Callahan (Henry) is one of my favorite authors. How do I know this? I own all of her books and a few are “saved” unread for the book apocalypse. You know, I’m well-prepared for that. When I read that she was writing historical fiction for the first time, and that it also involved C.S. Lewis, I was all in.

Joy Davidman is the main character. The book begins with her life as a wife and mother, and I could sense right away that something i
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
I have to say that this book took me completely by surprise. Honestly, I think sometimes when I approach a book about real people, in this case C.S.Lewis and Joy Davidman, I cannot help but ask myself "So which one is going to be the jerk?" But Patti Callahan unfolds the story of the meeting of the minds as much as much as that of the heart. People, this book is #relationshipgoals, the type our mothers and fathers hope we will encounter as we travel the road of love. Seventeen years in age dif ...more
Diane S ☔
Nov 27, 2018 rated it liked it
This is going to be less a review than just myself explaining how I was all over the place while reading this novel. I think most people have heard of C. S. Lewis and his Narnia, but of his only wife Joy, very little. Was what drew me to this book. I liked it, I didn't like it, found it repetitive at times, interesting at others, grew frustrated with all the spirituality, philosophizing, the tone was so melancholy, not much joy to be found within. So conflicting, a good look at a woman who wante ...more
Anne Bogel
Mar 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I love the backstory on this: when a friend asked Patti Henry what she would write about if she could write about anything: the answer came at once: Joy Davidman. Years later, this book is the result of that conversation.

In this biographical novel, Henry tells how American poet and mother Joy Davidman became the wife of C.S. Lewis. While I thought I was familiar with the story, I learned something new on every page, and polished this off in an enjoyable two days.
Diane Barnes
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
I'm in the minority on my rating of this book, so I'll just say it was not my cup of tea. Had I not been reading it for my book club I would have DNF'd the whole thing. I was frustrated and bored because it felt as though the author couldn't decide whether this was a biographical novel, religious fiction, or chick lit, and the combination just did not work for me. ...more
Literary Redhead
I first read an excerpt of this stunning new book and longed for more, so was ecstatic to receive a full review copy from Thomas Nelson-Fiction. Felt like Christmas had come early, which indeed it had, as BECOMING MRS. LEWIS is everything I’d hoped for and more.

Author Patti Callahan is a writer’s writer and a reader’s dream. Her prose is lush, her characterizations true, and her fictionalized account is thrilling as she retells the towering love story between C.S. Lewis, the 20th Century’s great
I received this book for free as part of an Instagram tour (Just Read Tours specifically) I did to promote the book.

I was interested in reading this book because I am a fan of C.S. Lewis. I hadn’t heard of Joy Davidman before, so I was curious to learn more about her. Please note that although this book is based on real people and real events, it is still a work of historical fiction.

This book was incredible. It beautifully depicted the relationship between Lewis and Davidman. Their romance was
Deanne Patterson
How does one write a review for a book like this, a book that is quite possibly the best I've read this year? How can a review even begin to give this book the proper justice?
This book has taken a piece of my heart with it when I finished it, never to be returned!
I'll admit to having never read a C.S. Lewis book and never having heard of his wife, Joy.
This book isn't just a mundane book about their life and how they met, it started out by her contacting him by letter, by the way. No, this book h
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
4 intensity of love stars
My reviews can be found here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

It is often very hard to find true love, searching for it, we so many times stumble looking for that one person who makes us whole, who makes us feel valued, who makes us feel loved.

In Becoming Mrs. Lewis, Patti Callahan explores the love story between C. S. Lewis, a well known older author living in England, and Joy Davidman, a young poet, mother, who was trapped in a marriage to an alcoholic and phil
Mar 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
Brutal. I’m actually disappointed and finally decided to stop reading it at page 320. Can’t take the drivel anymore!

The italicized thought of Joy mid page 320 “or take me in your arms and set me down on that bed and make love to me”. I actually eye rolled. I wonder if either Lewis or Joy would want things like that included. Doubt it.

My main issue, besides the mediocre writing, which made it easy to skim big portions at a time, was with Joy’s portrayal. She’s selfish, promiscuous, and even chi
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Joy Davidman is a writer and poet living in Ossining NY in 1946. She is locked in a loveless marriage with her alcoholic husband, Bill Gresham, and their two young sons. In a moment of desperation, she says a prayer to a God she doesn’t believe in and has an overwhelming experience that causes her to want to find out more about Christianity. She writes to Christian apologist C. S. Lewis with questions about God. Lewis responds, beginning a long-term correspondence between the two. Joy fin
Jan 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
Started off ok, but this book is severely lacking in one thing: Jesus. This smacks of someone who only understands the motions of religion and the forced human tradition, rather than actually knowing Jesus.

I feel as this has been heavily researched, but I have to severely question Joy--and even C.S. Lewis's--actual Christianity if this book is entirely true. The characters represented here do not resonate with actual Christians who have read any of the Bible, rather than just sort of skimmed thr
Melissa Tagg
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't know if I can possibly put into words how much I loved this book...or how deeply it touched me. Which is almost funny because when I started reading it, I wasn't actually sure it would end up holding my interest. But once I got going, I couldn't stop. The writing itself is just so pretty...but too, I adored the layered characters. I've seen a review here or there from folks not necessarily loving the way C.S. Lewis is portrayed or feeling let down by the character of Joy. But I loved her ...more
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
What a lovely story! This book tells the love story between Joy Davidman and CS Lewis. It was told from Joy's perspective and reads like a memoir. I found it a bit slow at times, but was crying by the end because I just loved following their story. It was a slow burn friend to lover story and I was heartbroken at the end. After finishing I rented Shadowlands on Amazon Prime and now want to read all the CS Lewis books! ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
"We are often woefully negligent of the women next to the men we admire, and Joy Davidman is one of those women."
Patti Callahan in A Note From the Author, Becoming Mrs. Lewis

I knew nothing about poet and novelist Joy Davidman before, and very little about C.S. Lewis other than he has written many books that I've never had the slightest interest in. The author, however, has been a fan for years of them both and strove to make Joy's extraordinary accomplishments known. Callahan has given us the st
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2018
BECOMING MRS. LEWIS is a book that I have been looking forward to reading for a long time. At the same time, I put it off because I was afraid it would not live up to my expectations. I had previously read JOY by Abigail Santamaria, an excellent non-fiction book about Joy Davidman and her life with C.S. Lewis. When I finally sat down and started to read the book, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it.

Kellyn Roth
Reread 1/31/2021:

I reread this over the last couple days because I became obsessed with C.S. Lewis again. Not even sure what started it, but this time, select passages of this book combined with historical knowledge of Jack and Joy and random quotes for Lewis's works touched me in a very different way - a personal way - and I learned so much through later study combined with just the thoughts on this book!

I will note that this is not a book for the faint of heart, it is not a book for those who
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“How is it that my heart is breaking and yet I’ve never been so happy?”

Wow, what a truly beautiful retelling this is. It’s not often I enjoy a book as much as I did this one.

Becoming Mrs. Lewis is a retelling of the friendship / marriage of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis. I honestly had no idea what to expect, but I definitely wanted to read a retelling of the man who created Narnia. This book is just beautiful and I absolutely loved it. The story is in first person which I used to say I wasn’t a
Judy D Collins
Check out my Q&A Interview with Author Patti Callahan Henry! Thank you, Patti— so much fun.

Patti Callahan Henry has been a favorite author of mine throughout the years, an avid fan –with twelve New York Times bestselling novels – she has been hailed as a “fresh new voice” in contemporary Southern fiction. I have had the opportunity of reading each of them and thoroughly enjoyed.

In her latest historical fiction, the author dazzles! She vividly re-creates the world of Joy and C. S. Lewis in
Pam Jenoff
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Henry has artfully novelized the true story of C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman, the American woman with whom he improbably fell in love before critical illness threatened everything. This book is beautiful and bittersweet.
Literary Redhead
I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of this wondrous book from Thomas Nelson-Fiction, as BECOMING MRS. LEWIS has exceeded my every expectation.

This exquisitely written novel is a fictionalized account of the romance between Oxford don C.S. Lewis and New York writer Joy Davidman, who later became his wife. Their’s was an unlikely coupling. He the greatest Christian writer of the 20th Century, she an American Jewish covert to Christianity and the ex-wife of an alcoholic. They met after she d
Mary Alice  Monroe
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was the book Patti was born to write!
Helen Joy Davidman (1915-1960) was an American poet and writer. This book brings a vivid portrayal of “a woman diverse, courageous, and complicated, and a woman whom C.S. Lewis loved with all of his being.” They seemed to be ill-matched, but at the end they offered a glimpse at what love truly means.

New York, 1946. At thirty-one years old, Joy is a writer, mother, and a wife, who also has to deal with her husband’s infidelity. She realizes that the life she pushed for outside the city is not the
Rachel McMillan
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Balancing Joy Davidman's pragmatic voice with a slow-rendered love story is a carefully thought out exercise in developing romance.

Two largely different people come together against a circumstance that would shun them and continue to find their bond tightening. For those who know a lot about Lewis' history, Callahan's well-researched novel will take you to the more human side of the pen that crafted some of our favourite theological and fantastical tomes. It opens up the very real struggle of a
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-books
After a recent surge of personal interest in the Chronicles of Narnia, I was really looking forward to reading Becoming Mrs. Lewis. However, it wasn't the book for me. The author writes beautifully (I'd like to learn some of her secrets) but the book itself was quite uninteresting and left me depressed instead of uplifted. Joy Davidman led, in many ways, a depressing life and that translated into this book. We didn't get to see much (if any) of her happiness with Lewis - only her struggles and f ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was good. It was very good, actually. But I don't know....I'm iffy about the content and iffy about the theology. ...more
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Harper Inspire for sending me an advanced reader copy of this magnificent book!

“What on earth would become of me if I should ever grow brave?”

When I requested a review copy of Becoming Mrs Lewis, I knew it wouldn’t be a book I’d usually pick up but having read so much fantasy & YA recently, I fancied a change. I didn’t, however, expect to be blown away by this amazingly real story that bares all to the reader holding nothing back.
If you don’t already know, it is about writer/poet J
Abigayle Claire
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reading the last 100 pages on Valentine's Day was a good call. This book was so full of real life that it was a little disarming. I've never read something quite so broken yet enchanting. Even though this is a work of historical fiction, it's hard to imagine anything happening differently for Joy and Jack.

I loved that, even though the book was imagined to some degree, it didn't shy away from the hard things. The ugly truths. The cold facts. The real beauty of the story came from the masterful d
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book from beginning to end. It filled up my cup. It taught me new things. Changed my perspective, made me think, and made me fall in love with C.S. Lewis all over again. Not to mention, I was introduced to the love of his life I knew nothing about prior to reading this book.

And for any aspiring authors out there, whether or not you like Lewis, this is a book that validates the love of writing again and again.

I'd rate this book a PG-13 for some adult themes and mild swearing.
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Christian Fiction...: This topic has been closed to new comments. January's Book of the Month - Becoming Mrs. Lewis 52 90 Feb 06, 2020 04:46PM  
books read so far in 2019 1 7 May 20, 2019 11:15AM  

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“What on earth would become of me if I should ever grow brave?” 16 likes
“Much of what I’d done — mistakes, poems, manipulations, success and books and sex — had been done merely to get love. To get it. To answer my question: do you love me? . . . From that moment on, the love affair I would develop would be with my soul. [God] was already part of me; that much was clear. And now this would be where I would go for love — to the God in me. No more begging or pursuing or needing. Possibly it was only a myth, Jack’s myth [Til We Have Faces], that could have obliterated the false belief that I must pursue love in the outside world — in success, in acclaim, in performance, in a man.

The Truth: I was beloved of God.

Finally I could stop trying to force someone or something else to fill that role”
More quotes…