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Through the Shadowlands: The Love Story of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman

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In time for the 2005 release of The Chronicles of Narnia movie, Sibley provides the full story behind the movie Shadowlands.


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In time for the 2005 release of The Chronicles of Narnia movie, Sibley provides the full story behind the movie Shadowlands.

30 review for Through the Shadowlands: The Love Story of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman

  1. 5 out of 5

    Graham

    Still so inspired every time I read about this amazing author and his life of discovery. It comes through so clearly how, even though he was a gigantically gifted person, he was very much a human. The way he grapples with his faith after losing his wife is an encouragement to anyone who walks through "deep waters". A quote that struck me from this book: "He always knew my temple was a house of cards. The only way he could get me to recognise this fact was to knock it down". Also made me excited agai Still so inspired every time I read about this amazing author and his life of discovery. It comes through so clearly how, even though he was a gigantically gifted person, he was very much a human. The way he grapples with his faith after losing his wife is an encouragement to anyone who walks through "deep waters". A quote that struck me from this book: "He always knew my temple was a house of cards. The only way he could get me to recognise this fact was to knock it down". Also made me excited again about reading and made a list of authors from the book that Lewis enjoyed; a whole new trail for me to follow! Onwards and upwards!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    I enjoyed reading about C.S.Lewis, an author who is well-known for his children's Narnia books as well as many books and articles on the Christian faith. This book concentrated on the years he knew Joy Davidman, first in correspondence and later as a friend and eventually his wife. There was much about "Jack" Lewis that I had never known before, though I have read several of his works. The fact that Joy had been born Jewish, was for a long time an agnostic and Communist, and a divorce' made the I enjoyed reading about C.S.Lewis, an author who is well-known for his children's Narnia books as well as many books and articles on the Christian faith. This book concentrated on the years he knew Joy Davidman, first in correspondence and later as a friend and eventually his wife. There was much about "Jack" Lewis that I had never known before, though I have read several of his works. The fact that Joy had been born Jewish, was for a long time an agnostic and Communist, and a divorce' made the friendship between the two highly unlikely. Joy converted to Christianity before the two met in person. The years of their marriage were few, as shortly after they were married, Joy was diagnosed with cancer. Her struggles with the disease, a few short years of remission, and then relapse are well written. The effect her death had on Lewis made him for a while question his own faith, the faith that inspired so many others. How he eventually worked his way back to belief, while only dealt with briefly, was powerful. I would recommend this book to those who like biographies, are interested in learning more about this famous author, or enjoy an inspirational true story.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    Sibley puts together the basic story of Lewis and Joy’s relationship. He gives biographies for each, though admittedly focuses more on Lewis, and talks about their growing love for each other. He inserts lots of quotes and pieces from their writings, which I think added a good dimension to the biographies. But sometimes his commentary got a little too... saccharine, or emotional. Nothing groundbreaking, and definitely not exhaustive. But overall a good addition to the cannon of books-on-Lewis, es Sibley puts together the basic story of Lewis and Joy’s relationship. He gives biographies for each, though admittedly focuses more on Lewis, and talks about their growing love for each other. He inserts lots of quotes and pieces from their writings, which I think added a good dimension to the biographies. But sometimes his commentary got a little too... saccharine, or emotional. Nothing groundbreaking, and definitely not exhaustive. But overall a good addition to the cannon of books-on-Lewis, especially considering its time. Originally published in 1985. Other books in a similar topic that I want to read: Joy: Poet, Seeker, and the Woman Who Captivated C. S. Lewis Becoming Mrs. Lewis A Love Observed Women and C.S. Lewis: What His Life and Literature Reveal for Today's Culture

  4. 5 out of 5

    Moopies

    I read this when I was 12 as a time passer in a foreign country where no one spoke english and it was the only literature that could be found in the house that was in English. I wasnt expecting much being young and silly, but I was pleasantly surprised. I couldnt put the book down. C.S. Lewis' Life was so interesting and amazing, and Sad. I read through the night till I was finished. Amazing Man, one of my favourite author's. Reading this gave me such insights into his life, helped me understand I read this when I was 12 as a time passer in a foreign country where no one spoke english and it was the only literature that could be found in the house that was in English. I wasnt expecting much being young and silly, but I was pleasantly surprised. I couldnt put the book down. C.S. Lewis' Life was so interesting and amazing, and Sad. I read through the night till I was finished. Amazing Man, one of my favourite author's. Reading this gave me such insights into his life, helped me understand how he became such an Awesome writer. To be fair I havent read it since, so these are all my memories of the book from when I read it, the ideas of a 12 year old, Hmm Need to read it again YeSh!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hannah McMurphy

    A quick read about two incredible minds! I am always amazed at the depth and resilience of C.S. Lewis, and it was a pleasure to learn that Joy Davidman was just as brilliant. What I wouldn't give to sit in a pub and talk with them! A quick read about two incredible minds! I am always amazed at the depth and resilience of C.S. Lewis, and it was a pleasure to learn that Joy Davidman was just as brilliant. What I wouldn't give to sit in a pub and talk with them!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Larada Horner-Miller

    C. S. Lewis is one of ,y heroes & his love affair with Joy Davidman captured my heart. What brilliant he was & found love late in his life! Poignant for sure!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amanda McDougle

    The love of C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidson was controlled by the Church of England. In the Church's eyes, a divorced woman sinned if she remarried. This allowed no room for flexibility in an American woman's struggle to survive on her own while raising two young boys. As a wife of domestic violence (by modern law), Joy fled to England and created a new life with her children. Many of Jack's judgmental literary friends judged Joy for being a gold digger. Jack paid the expensive tuition for Joy's son The love of C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidson was controlled by the Church of England. In the Church's eyes, a divorced woman sinned if she remarried. This allowed no room for flexibility in an American woman's struggle to survive on her own while raising two young boys. As a wife of domestic violence (by modern law), Joy fled to England and created a new life with her children. Many of Jack's judgmental literary friends judged Joy for being a gold digger. Jack paid the expensive tuition for Joy's sons at private schools. When Joy faced the possibility of losing her visa, Jack decided to marry her. This is where the Church comes into play. After reading the active role the Church played in the lives of citizens from England, I have a better understanding of why early citizens left for America. The Church dictated the first phase of the Lewis marriage. Jack married Joy to fulfill a social obligation he had as a friend. This meant the married couple lived in two separate houses. The married produced the abrupt vacancy of Joy from her house. When Joy fell down and broke her hip, Jack fell in love with her. He stepped up to the plate to be a loving husband and be more considerate of his wife's biological needs. As a small child, Jack watched his own mother suffer and pass away from cancer. As a man in his sixties, Jack watched Joy slowly slip away from his world. The death of Jack's mother resulted in his brother abusing alcohol and him turning to education. Their father was not able to speak about his wife's death. The grieving process never ended for Jack, even after Joy's death. People were afraid to discuss Joy's death with Jack and her two sons. Jack did keep his feelings in journal format in a book called A Grief Observed. This literary piece expresses the emotions Jack felt during the grieving process. Being able to open up enabled Jack to handle living. This living did not last long, as Jack passed away from a heart attack. Further research on C.S. ("Jack") Lewis led me to discover that Douglas Gresham remembered his stepfather being able to recall childhood stories from his photographic memory. Jack also made sure food was kosher before the boys returned home for visits. My research has led me to the conclusion that Jack's actions were as thoughtful as his wife's writing of Anya. I felt like I attended the greatest love story ever written. Two intellectual minds meeting on a high tidal wave that never stops is the way I would describe the Lewis marriage. Joy was stolen from Jack's life too many times. I am left with the following question: What became of the American woman Jack corresponded with for so many years? Did she attend Jack's funeral? Did she become a famous feminist writer?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Misery. Joy. Poetry. Very worth the read. Well organized with poignant poetry by the subjects of the biography.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This was SUCH a weird book. If you love all things C.S. Lewis-ian and you are the kind of person who loved reading The Encyclopaedia Britannica for fun when you were a kid, you will like this book. I liked reading about all of his books in their historical context, especially their relationship to what was occurring in Lewis' life. I also like how the book is telling a story primarily through passages from Lewis', Joy Davidman's, and their contemporaries' writings. There were SO many interesting This was SUCH a weird book. If you love all things C.S. Lewis-ian and you are the kind of person who loved reading The Encyclopaedia Britannica for fun when you were a kid, you will like this book. I liked reading about all of his books in their historical context, especially their relationship to what was occurring in Lewis' life. I also like how the book is telling a story primarily through passages from Lewis', Joy Davidman's, and their contemporaries' writings. There were SO many interesting tidbits in here: C.S. Lewis went by "Jack" his entire life; Tolkien was the first person to read Narnia and hated it, even discouraging Lewis to pursue publishing it; and the story behind A Grief Observed. However, even though I fit both of the above categories (i.e., encyclopedia-reading, Lewis-obsessed), I still had issues with this book. It might have been the obvious, blinding infatuation the author had with Lewis. Or it might have been the way the author viewed the relationship between Joy Davidman and Lewis: repeatedly describing her an unattractive American divorcee who relentlessly pursued and was lucky enough to land Lewis. The author's apparent disregard for the women in Lewis' life is a theme throughout the book. The mysterious Mrs. Moore ("a woman of very limited mind, and notably domineering and possessive by temperament") "traps" Lewis into a life of quiet desperation. The "American lady friend" who was, it seems, his most significant relationship at the end of his life, was never even named, though Lewis' intimate letters to her are substantially quoted. However, all of his male friends, who mostly abandoned him at the end of his life, are named and described in detail. Mostly, this book just left me wanting to know the real story behind C.S. Lewis' life, absent the apparent prejudices of the author.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hermien

    I thoroughly enjoyed this biography of CS Lewis, especially David Suchet's brilliant reading of it. I thoroughly enjoyed this biography of CS Lewis, especially David Suchet's brilliant reading of it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mia Parviainen

    I've read a lot of book by C.S. Lewis, from his books on theology (Mere Christianity), to his children's literature (The Chronicles of Narnia), to his poetry. I've also read biographies and books that have profiled Lewis and have commented on his works and connections with other writers, like JRR Tolkien. For readers who also fall under that category, this book will add more to what they already know. The chapter titles alone ("The Magician's Nephew," "Surprised by Joy," "A Grief Observed") are I've read a lot of book by C.S. Lewis, from his books on theology (Mere Christianity), to his children's literature (The Chronicles of Narnia), to his poetry. I've also read biographies and books that have profiled Lewis and have commented on his works and connections with other writers, like JRR Tolkien. For readers who also fall under that category, this book will add more to what they already know. The chapter titles alone ("The Magician's Nephew," "Surprised by Joy," "A Grief Observed") are effective Easter eggs. Sibley spends the first three chapters on C.S Lewis and his life before meeting Joy Davidman. For those who already know his story, it may be a bit of repetition. From there, he shifts into a description of Davidman's early life and first marriage, and eventual meeting with Lewis. In many books about Lewis, Joy Davidman is a footnote or is referenced in passing. Perhaps it makes sense, since she was present for only a few years in his life. Sibley uses various texts to fill in the story: excerpts from letters, books and other published works, articles, and poems. Some of the quoted text is direct commentary in the form of letters and diaries. In other places, Sibley relies on books, such as Joy Davidman's Smoke on the Mountain: An Interpretation of the Ten Commandments, to show figures, their perspectives, and how those perspectives have woven their way into fiction and poetry--it makes for interesting reading if you buy into this lens of criticism. Sibley carefully addresses controversy in the figtures' lives, relying on facts and quotes to tell the bulk of the story, reserving his own judgment. (view spoiler)[When it comes to the first meeting of Lewis and Davidman, while she was still married to her first husband, Sibley explains, "No account exists of that first meeting between Jack and Joy, so one can only speculate on what impression each made on the other. Jack obviously enjoyed the encounter, for he repaid Joy's hospitality with an invitation for her...to lunch with him and [his brother]..." Sibley doesn't pull any punches when discussing Bill Gresham's abusive nature during his marriage to Joy, and he also notes how Warnie, the brother of C.S. Lewis, struggled with alcohol throughout his adult life. (hide spoiler)] As a result, Sibley presents an account that seems well-supported and plausible, in places where he may be making inferences. For those who are fans of C.S. Lewis and would like to place books like Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life and A Grief Observed in their proper context, this book helps. Who should read this book: fans of C.S. Lewis, those who have read multiple books by/about C.S. Lewis, biography readers.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gea

    C.S. Lewis; Through the Shadowlands by Brian Sibley Having read Randy Alcorn’s book “If God be Good” and then this book on the suffering of Joy Davidman, C.S.Lewis’ wife, I have come away with a new insight to this comment he made. “Lord of the narrow gate and the needle’s eye, Take from me all my trumpery lest I die.” He wrote that as he prayed as a humble man not seeking worldly wealth but only God's love. Lewis as a middle aged man and having never married was swept up into love from a divorc C.S. Lewis; Through the Shadowlands by Brian Sibley Having read Randy Alcorn’s book “If God be Good” and then this book on the suffering of Joy Davidman, C.S.Lewis’ wife, I have come away with a new insight to this comment he made. “Lord of the narrow gate and the needle’s eye, Take from me all my trumpery lest I die.” He wrote that as he prayed as a humble man not seeking worldly wealth but only God's love. Lewis as a middle aged man and having never married was swept up into love from a divorcee he met through correspondence. Lewis was known throughout his life to taking in and helping others but he was unaware of love that came creeping in soever so quietly through the life of Joy. Ironically he had titled on of his books "Surprised by Joy" before they met. In their short wedded life they moved each other to know the foibles and beauty of love that only God can bring. In death Lewis wrote one of his most famous books on grief as he sought to find peace in her home-going. Sibley shares that how Joy came to God explaining He was like a cat creeping upon its prey and then pouncing upon it when the prey least expects it. That is how Christ came to her and how she surrendered to His will. He fulfilled her longing for extraordinary love that she earnestly needed for the last journey from this life to the next. In some ways both she and Lewis had similar experiences of coming to God. Brian Sibley has researched their lives and keeps the reader moving from one year to the next sharing how these two met and embraced Christ. Lewis was a prolific writer and Sibley shares excerpts from The Chronicles of Narnia to expertly show how Lewis faced life through the children and Aslan the Beloved Lion. Sibley also shares with the reader how the world did not immediately take to his books of fantasy and in fact it was not until later in life did the Chronicles hit their stride. Now we appreciate them as some of the most coveted of books to read to children sharing how Aslan loves and gives his life thus showing Christ’s sacrifice. Joy died in 1960 from cancer, Lewis would join her in death on Nov 22 1963--the same day JFK was assassinated. The irony. Highly recommend this book to any Narnia fans and to any wanting to know more about this author.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    Read this last year for probably the second time. Very good book on C.S. Lewis. page 22: "It was Warnie, Jack was later to recall, who first opened his eyes to the beauty of nature, when he 'brought into the nursery the lid of a biscuit tin which he had covered with moss and garnished with twigs and flowers so as to make a toy garden...That was the first beauty I ever knew. It made me aware of nature as something cool, dewy, fresh, exuberant...As long as I live my imagination of Paradise will re Read this last year for probably the second time. Very good book on C.S. Lewis. page 22: "It was Warnie, Jack was later to recall, who first opened his eyes to the beauty of nature, when he 'brought into the nursery the lid of a biscuit tin which he had covered with moss and garnished with twigs and flowers so as to make a toy garden...That was the first beauty I ever knew. It made me aware of nature as something cool, dewy, fresh, exuberant...As long as I live my imagination of Paradise will retain something of my brother's toy garden. Again and again in later years, Jack was to use the image of the garden in his writing, as a symbol of romance and mystery and life everlasting: "At the end of one long lake which looked as blue as turquoise, they saw a smooth green hill. Its sides were as steep as the sides of a pyramid and round the very top of it ran a green wall: but above the wall rose the branches of trees whose leaves looked like silver and their fruit like gold..." Page 42: "Having learned from childhood 'to make a minor illness one of the pleasures of life,' he comforted himself with the satisfying thought that he had temporarily traded the trenches for a bed and the opportunity to do what he liked doing more than anything else - read. One of the books he read was a collection of essays by G. K. Chesterton, whose writings were later to have a powerful effect on Jack's thinking about Christianity. 'In reading Chesterton, as in reading MacDonald,' he was to reflect, 'I did not know what I was letting myself in for. A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere--'Bibles laid open. Millions of surprises,' as Herbert says, 'fine nets and strategems.' God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.'"

  14. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    I read Shadowlands as I prepared to see David Payne in his 1,000+ performance (in 20 years) of "An Evening with C.S. Lewis". The show is a step back in time to 1963 when the Christian author is meeting with a group of American writers at his home near Oxford. This book is similarly a look-back at his life overall and more specifically the way-too-short but sweet love for Joy Davidman. I learned so much about this incredible writer.... his initials stand for Clive Staples but he went by the name I read Shadowlands as I prepared to see David Payne in his 1,000+ performance (in 20 years) of "An Evening with C.S. Lewis". The show is a step back in time to 1963 when the Christian author is meeting with a group of American writers at his home near Oxford. This book is similarly a look-back at his life overall and more specifically the way-too-short but sweet love for Joy Davidman. I learned so much about this incredible writer.... his initials stand for Clive Staples but he went by the name "Jack"; he was friends with J.R.R. Tolkien and Victor Hugo; he wasn't a lifelong Christian but rather a convert (thanks in part to J.R.R. Tolkien) after being an atheist for 15+ years; his brother, Warnie, battled alcoholism; he had an "Adopt-A-Mom", Jane Moore (who was his WWI buddy Paddy's mom); Jack was a loving stepfather for Joy's sons (Douglas and David Gresham); and, his letters were as interesting as his books (no doubt enticing Joy to move to England from New York with her pre-teen boys). C.S. Lewis led an interestingly unique life and an inspirational faith.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn

    I don't very often give out two-star reviews, but I just didn't enjoy this book. I did finish it because I have always loved the movie "Shadowlands". I know that it is a movie based on a true love story, and also that it probably took some license with the actual story. I expected to read a book about two people who loved each other deeply and dearly and their short time together. This book, however, I found to be dry and boring. A lot of quotes from the writings of CS Lewis and Joy Davidman and I don't very often give out two-star reviews, but I just didn't enjoy this book. I did finish it because I have always loved the movie "Shadowlands". I know that it is a movie based on a true love story, and also that it probably took some license with the actual story. I expected to read a book about two people who loved each other deeply and dearly and their short time together. This book, however, I found to be dry and boring. A lot of quotes from the writings of CS Lewis and Joy Davidman and a long introduction chronicling the early life of CS Lewis. I had a hard time getting to the end, even of its short 200 pages. I guess it doesn't help that I haven't read any of his or her writings and so was not prepared for so much quoting of them. It did help me to fill in details of their lives that were not covered by the movie. For that I am grateful.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Jack

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What a lovely insight into the life of a man whose children’s books have delighted millions. For parents and children alike, they enchant with stories of good triumphing over evil in magical worlds with magical creatures. Many of his theological thoughts have uplifted and edified me as well as so many others. His quotes finding themselves interwoven in many talks and sermons. It was so poignant to read how his faith developed. I had no idea that his mother died and his father was so distant. Tha What a lovely insight into the life of a man whose children’s books have delighted millions. For parents and children alike, they enchant with stories of good triumphing over evil in magical worlds with magical creatures. Many of his theological thoughts have uplifted and edified me as well as so many others. His quotes finding themselves interwoven in many talks and sermons. It was so poignant to read how his faith developed. I had no idea that his mother died and his father was so distant. That he lost his faith completely before finding it again in adulthood. And then it was tested again at the loss of his beloved wife Joy. What a charming man he was.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maya

    I am a little torn about this book. I expected it to be like most biographies: the story told through the voice of the author based on his research. Instead, this book is a collection of quotes weaved together by the author. This style made it a bit segmented and less unified. Nevertheless, it was great learning about the life for C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman. Although I have read most of Lewis' books, there was much I did not know about his life. I especially liked learning about at what stage o I am a little torn about this book. I expected it to be like most biographies: the story told through the voice of the author based on his research. Instead, this book is a collection of quotes weaved together by the author. This style made it a bit segmented and less unified. Nevertheless, it was great learning about the life for C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman. Although I have read most of Lewis' books, there was much I did not know about his life. I especially liked learning about at what stage of life he wrote his various books.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    The saw the movie years ago but hardly remember it. So when I came across this book I decided to read it to learn more about C. S. Lewis. It was very interesting learning about what was going on in his life while he was writing certain book—some that I’ve read but others that are now on my reading list. Like another reviewer, it made me want to explore some of his favorite authors particularly George MacDonald so now I’m reading The Princess and the Goblin. I’m loving that book. This book has gi The saw the movie years ago but hardly remember it. So when I came across this book I decided to read it to learn more about C. S. Lewis. It was very interesting learning about what was going on in his life while he was writing certain book—some that I’ve read but others that are now on my reading list. Like another reviewer, it made me want to explore some of his favorite authors particularly George MacDonald so now I’m reading The Princess and the Goblin. I’m loving that book. This book has given me a long reading list.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    A bit disappointing in that it takes almost the whole first half of the book before we even get to Joy and her relationship with CS Lewis. A lot of rehashing and reselling of Lewis' early life, only some of which would be relative to the story the author is attempting to tell, in a way to set up how Lewis related to women. A bit disappointing in that it takes almost the whole first half of the book before we even get to Joy and her relationship with CS Lewis. A lot of rehashing and reselling of Lewis' early life, only some of which would be relative to the story the author is attempting to tell, in a way to set up how Lewis related to women.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Pavla Slugeňová

    Inspiring. C S Lewis's personal life is remarkable, just like his books. The book offers an insight and introduces his life in chronological order. As his writing is intertwined with the events that inspired them, the book also offers a spoonful taste of CS Lewis works and serves delicious platters of thoughts in the prolific correspondence he kept running during his lifespan. Inspiring. C S Lewis's personal life is remarkable, just like his books. The book offers an insight and introduces his life in chronological order. As his writing is intertwined with the events that inspired them, the book also offers a spoonful taste of CS Lewis works and serves delicious platters of thoughts in the prolific correspondence he kept running during his lifespan.

  21. 4 out of 5

    pianogal

    This one was not what I expected. It was quite a bit about Joy's life before meeting CS Lewis and then a broad overview of their life together. The other bio I read was more in depth and it wasn't even the focus of the book. Not bad, but could have been more. This one was not what I expected. It was quite a bit about Joy's life before meeting CS Lewis and then a broad overview of their life together. The other bio I read was more in depth and it wasn't even the focus of the book. Not bad, but could have been more.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Scheidies

    A book that isn’t always easy to read. It has depth, truth and deep emotion. It is about a wonderful love, a struggle of health, death and CS Lewis’s crisis of faith. It is much more than I remembered from my first swift read years ago. Worth taking slow. Your faith will deepen and grow.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Noreen Chase

    I'm a huge C.S. Lewis fan and I have a long interest in Christian apologetics. This book, however, is a love story of a sworn Oxford Don bachelor and the woman he met, late in their lives, where they developed a deep, intense love for each other. I needed tissues. I'm a huge C.S. Lewis fan and I have a long interest in Christian apologetics. This book, however, is a love story of a sworn Oxford Don bachelor and the woman he met, late in their lives, where they developed a deep, intense love for each other. I needed tissues.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne

    Delightful to read of the human behind beloved Narnia.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly mountz

    I found the story interesting since I knew so little about Lewis’ life. However the writing was a bit jolted and not always chronological and I had to turn back several times to find missed details.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Watch the movie. I found the book interesting, and learned things I never knew about CS Lewis. The book was just poorly executed.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Agreenwalt

    I skimmed through a few monotonous chapters in the beginning and in the middle, but I'm glad I persevered to the last chapters where I even underlined a few passages. I skimmed through a few monotonous chapters in the beginning and in the middle, but I'm glad I persevered to the last chapters where I even underlined a few passages.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Such a good book, such a devastating book

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sara Rod

    Excellent read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I've wanted to read this book for years as I have always been impressed with the life and mind and writings of C.S. Lewis. And I loved the movie "Shadowlands". Now I have finally gotten to it. I will keep it and put it next to my collection of Lewis books. However, I found this book much like Lewis' own books: moments of brilliance that I had to wade through much dry writing to get to. Jack and Joy's love story is one of the greatest of all time. His description of can send one to the floor as he I've wanted to read this book for years as I have always been impressed with the life and mind and writings of C.S. Lewis. And I loved the movie "Shadowlands". Now I have finally gotten to it. I will keep it and put it next to my collection of Lewis books. However, I found this book much like Lewis' own books: moments of brilliance that I had to wade through much dry writing to get to. Jack and Joy's love story is one of the greatest of all time. His description of can send one to the floor as he, for a brief shining moment had what every human being craves: Joy was "my daughter, my mother, my pupil and my teacher, my subject and my sovereign, ...my trusty comrade, friend, shipmate, fellow soldier..." "no cranny of heart or body remained unsatisfied." "the pains you give me are more precious than all other gains." "How long, how tranquilly, how nourishingly we talked together that last night." "There were so many joys to be remembered:... games of Scrabble played simultaneously in English, French, Latin, and Greek, the cut and thrust of argument, long walks followed by pints of ale in old pubs, talk of books and bookmen -- George MacDonald, Jane Austen, Dr. Johnson, H.G. Wells and Samuel Pepys, music -- Mozart and Chopin...poetry, read aloud... over which they often read together." How could one not be absolutely swept away by such a love story of similar souls, fortunate enough to find each other if only for a brief moment in time? That is why I was so disappointed in the dryness of the writing. It's a great love story. It should have been a page turner and it wasn't. However, I am glad I read it. Because I wanted the story, and this was the only way to get it. 3 stars, shoulda been 5.

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