I love to read books that describe where people live that is not like my surroundings. The landscape, and weather. What did they do for a living and if they walked there? Where did they eat? What did they wear?
A different time period is intriguing. We have so many niceties, new technology that they did not even know could be possible. But we still work, eat, socialize, raise a family, have friends, have hobbies, and get around that we read about them doing. We may have faster ways of getting something sent to someone, like an email, and a text, but we can still sit down and write a letter.
In the book, Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan, Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis began a sweet bond from letter writing. They had never met before the letters began, and they still developed a special friendship and love. Her letters began when Joy and her husband, Bill, had spiritual questions. They began to write to C. S. Lewis, later known to Joy, as Jack.
In between the letters back and forth to Jack, Joy struggles to heal her marriage to an alcoholic, and philanderer, and to stay healthy. She works hard at raising their two boys, tries to picture them holding on to their farm they had always wanted. She is physically exhausted and not a well woman when she makes a decision to travel alone to England to not only heal, but find inspiration for her writings.
Once in England, I enjoyed the chapters on places she visited. Her first time to finally meet her dear friend, Jack, (C. S. Lewis)
The London public library, and it’s description, made me try to picture sitting inside reading a book. The London Zoo, which makes me think of a story she told at the beginning of the book of Joy and her brother.
Chapels. Cathedrals. Where bombs had struck during WWII. Oxford and Magdalen College. Taverns. The Eagle and Child for a drink with Jack and his brother, Warnie.
Blackwell’s Bookshop to think and write. I felt like I was with her and I began to understand and appreciate her beautiful sonnets. They were now full of hope and love. Jack and Warnie’s home, The Kilns. In my mind, I was picturing C. S. Lewis getting his inspiration for The Chronicles of Narnia. The little one’s that really did stay at his home, exploring the house, grounds, gardens, and pond.
The end of the book has not been read. I just can’t do it. I have already put my request in for more time on my loan from the library. One week, and I am nearing that mark, but I might just return the book. I might just picture Jack, Joy, and the boys, happy, playing outdoors and sitting in their home writing more stories for us to enjoy.