The love story of C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman

'Becoming Mrs. Lewis' by Patti Callahan
'Becoming Mrs. Lewis' by Patti Callahan
Courtesy of publisher

Every week, The Thread checks in with booksellers around the country about their favorite books of the moment. This week, we spoke with Betsy Grant from Page & Palette in Fairhope, Ala.

C.S. Lewis is on many a bookshelf. The scholar and author is widely known for his writings on Christianity, and for the wonder of "The Chronicles of Narnia."

But Joy Davidman is not often part of the story.

That changes with Patti Callahan's book, "Becoming Mrs. Lewis." It's a historical novel that draws on the true love story between Davidman and Lewis.

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When Davidman first came across Lewis' writing, she had very little in common with him: He was a Christian theologist in London, she was a Jewish atheist in New York. But they struck up a correspondence that turned into a friendship, bookseller Betsy Grant explained.

The two met in person when Davidman visited London. When she decided she wanted to move there permanently, she needed Lewis' help. She needed someone to marry her.

He agreed.

But it wasn't just for convenience. "She realized that she was in love with him, and he finally realized he was in love with her," Grant said.

"Callahan did her homework, she did the research, she read everything that only he had written, but she, as a writer and poet, had written as well."

"The book is in the first person, [Davidman's] voice, so it's this strong, sort of feisty, neat woman."

"It's just the love story for all time, really."

Becoming Mrs. Lewis Becoming Mrs. Lewis