Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Book Review: Becoming Mrs. Lewis

They say writers should show, not tell. This book did just that. Author Patti Callahan took you right into the New York City home of Joy Davidman Gresham and her husband, Bill. You hear them call each other pet names and meet their two little boys. But you also feel Joy’s anguish over the alcoholism of her husband. They eventually divorced.

Both writers, the Gresham’s were intellectuals and atheists, and in the writings of C. S. Lewis they discovered an intellectual atheist who had converted to Christianity. Bill encouraged Joy to write to Lewis with their questions and the two developed a bond. This book covers the years of friendship that eventually led to marriage in 1956 and her death in 1960 at age 45.

This is a work of fiction, so the author certainly took liberties in what she wrote. But it’s evident she did thorough research, and I believe she composed a realistic picture of the times and sentiments of the subjects. If you’re a C. S. Lewis fan, this book offers a great opportunity to glimpse his personal life and his struggle over marrying a divorcee.

I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s descriptive writing and will look for more of her novels.

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