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Becoming Mrs. Lewis

The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis
Narrated by: Lauren Woodward
Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (324 ratings)
Regular price: $31.93
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Publisher's Summary

Now a USA Today and Publishers Weekly best seller!

“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 best-selling 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 best-selling 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. 

“Patti Callahan Henry breathes wondrous fresh life into one of the greatest literary love stories of all time.... The result is a deeply moving story about love and loss that is transformative and magical.” (Pam Jenoff, New York Times best-selling author of The Orphan’s Tale

“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 best-selling author of Before We Were Yours)

©2018 Patti Callahan (P)2018 Thomas Nelson

Critic Reviews

“Profoundly evocative, revealing an intimate view of a woman whose love and story had never been fully told...until now...Becoming Mrs. Lewis is a tour de force and the must-read of the season!” (Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times best-selling author of Beach House Reunion) 

"Patti Callahan somehow inhabits Davidman, taking her readers inside the writer’s hungry mind and heart. We keenly feel Davidman’s struggle to become her own person at a time (the 1950s) when women had few options.... An astonishing work of biographical fiction." (Lynn Cullen, best-selling author of Mrs. Poe)

"Patti Callahan breathes life into this fascinating woman whose hunger for knowledge leads her to buck tradition at every turn." (Diane Chamberlain, New York Times best-selling author of The Dream Daughter)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Narrator is TERRIBLE

The Narrator for this book is awful. Her general reading sounds like bad acting and her accents are unbearable. I am shocked to see she has narrated other books. I love the story so far, but I just can't take the narrator anymore and must return it and get a hardcopy to finish it.

33 of 34 people found this review helpful

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Narrator really got in the way.

I spent most of the time I listened to this book trying to improve the narration in my mind so I could enjoy it. How was this narrator chosen? She doesn’t bring an accent/voice that is appropriate for either Joy or Jack.

Apart from that huge issue, the book is worth reading. The characters are interesting for their strengths and weaknesses, remarkable for their body of work and intriguing for their developing worldview, careers and friendships.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Awful narrator

I wish I had just bought it in paperback, because this narrator was one of the worst I have ever listened to. My love of Lewis is about the only thing that made me endure her, even with such a great story! She makes Joy a whiny American, and Jack a pretentious snob. I would recommend the book but not on audio.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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A Wonderful Exploration of CS Lewis's Muse

This book is a work of fiction. However, in this case, what it means is that Patti Callahan has done extensive research into the life of Joy Davidman Lewis, her relationship with CS Lewis and his brother Warnie, and her writing. It's fiction, because Callahan fills in the details that tie her research together. It is wonderfully written, and the use of quotes from Joy's sonnets and other writings makes for a truly magical experience.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

Beautifully written and well read. I loved every minute of my listen... Patti gave us a glimpse into the lives of an interesting woman and an icon of a man... It is always fun to be able to research real characters in a novel... I'll admit that I didn't know much about C.S. Lewis as a person and loved getting to know them both through this novel. Well done, Patti!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I have to agree - author is buried with narration

very religious which might not make it for me anyway but the narration is slow and plodding. I kept trying - but couldn't get through it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful Story

I have not read work of CS Lewis, only seen the movies. I have, read and heard quotes of his words over the years in many talks and online. This book has started a fire to learn and read both his and Joy’s words. And although this is a novel, I believe it captured their story a best it could. Very well written and narrated.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Mixed Feelings

Loved the storyline which I was already familiar with. I felt the narrator was a novice and did a mediocre job "reading" the story. The story tended to be a bit saccharine and I found it hard to believe that Joy pined away for Jack in such an adolescent school-girl crush kind of way. She was a highly intelligent and brilliant woman in her own right! The story is heartbreaking and it is infuriating that the doctors she saw over the years were do dismissive about her various and chronic ailments which were so valid, one way or the other!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent!

Historical fiction at its best. Henry captures the passion of these two for words and for each other. I want to know more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Extraordinary intertwining of 2 unlikely companions

This was an extremely good story melding together the two lives of Joy Davidman and CS Lewis. The narration was weak and plodding, but the story held it together. Overall a recommended book to read or listen to. My compliments to the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful