I hugely enjoyed this brief biography of CS Lewis and his relationship with Joy Davidman. I say biography because the author has provided essential biographical details on both to allow an understanding of why these two lives came together, albeit briefly, in marriage. Brian Sibley has an in-depth knowledge of Lewis' writings, and quotes extensively and very appropriatley to develop the readers insight. A truly five-star read for anyone who has read anything of CS.
Take a successful writer who is also an Oxford English Literature don of the old school, a popular radio personality and lecturer on Christianity and a confirmed bachelor; introduce him to an American poet and writer, a radical communist and atheist until her conversion to Christianity, a married woman with two children. What happens? His old, bachelor, traditional Oxford donnish, staid world is thrown into confusion as hers, which is already in confusion, becomes clearer. The confirmed bachelor, a founder member of the Inklings, that small group of dons who conquered the publishing world for decades, falls in love. I will not write more, except to warn readers of the emotional journey they are about to undertake as they become more intimate with a small group of lovely people.
PS "Shadowlands" was made into a wonderful film by Richard Attenborough starring Anthony Hopkins as CS Lewis, a role he plays to perfection with great sensitivity and subtle skill. Be prepared for another deeply emotional experience at the world depicted.
Perhaps learned scholars may poo-poo such a "brief" overview of Lewis and Davidman, but in its brevity lies part of its charm. There must be tomes aplenty which cover the vast breadth of their lives and works. In contrast, Sibley chooses to flesh out enough of the details to give a real sense of their respective characters, backgrounds and difficult lives without dragging you into a mire of overwhelming facts. Thankfully, this is NOT the (awful) transcript of the (excellent) 1993 film but a true account (as far as I can tell). It is lively and engaging, hugely enjoyable and, of course, occasionally heartbreaking. You'd do no worse to try this if you know little about the pair. Oh and there are a few photos scattered through as well to help things along.
Excellent book that I have read a few times since purchase.What Joy Gresham went through after developing cancer of the bones,we can only guess at,but it was a lot.It was such a shame that this had to happen especially as she was blissfully married to a timeless bachelor like Jack Lewis...Even Warnie,Jack's brother grew to love Joy so much,and she helped him with his drink problem when it got out of hand,as it did on occasions. Nothing is spared in this book,we are told every detail.Joy re-fashioned the bachelors old woodland house,into a warm and homely hide away.It was obviously a large and roomy house,it even had it's own acres and small lake.Joy had 2 boys by her previous marriage,who also settled down well in England,and they were educated to quite a good standard with Jacks help of course. The one thing that I found particularly sad was the fact that friends who regularly visited Joy,Jack and the family,even going on holidays together,seemed to desert him in the end at his ultimate hour of need.They never even went to Joy's funeral. A happy and sad book rolled into one.If you like the writings of C.S.Lewis then buy this.
Shadowlands ,for any fan of CS Lewis is a breath taking and intimate read,leaving the reader,as if they have met CS Lewis .To feel his pain,passion,and joy of finding joy and looking her so cruelly will humble even the hardest and emotionally detached person to tears. Thank you Lord for CS Lewis. He has touched my soul.
This compact but complete volume will give readers a brief overview of CSL's life including his incredible meeting and love affair with JD. It also complements the film (with some adjustments) in which Anthony Hopkins probably gives his finest performance. Although after her death CSL had doubts which shook his faith, the reader is left in no such doubts - the evidence is too powerful. The book is a springboard to reading CSL's deeper works and poetry.
I named the title of this review 'integrety' as that's what comes across for me throughout this book. The auther tracks CS Lewis' life experience culminating in showing the way he' lived out his faith through his friendship then love and marriage to Joy. Without fluffy sentimentality, CS Lewis' demonstrates his Christian faith through Integrety and kindness. Affirming and challenging.