Patti Callahan is a New York Times bestselling author who became enthralled with and curious about the spiritual journey of C. S. Lewis’s wife, Joy Davidman. Her newest novel, Becoming Mrs. Lewis explores that journey and their love story.
Built on the backbone of meticulous research, this historical fiction narrative is a masterful exploration of one of the greatest and most improbable love stories of modern times .This novel tells the story of a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother and a passionate woman who had an encounter with God that sent her off on a transformational journey that changed her life, her work, her heart and her family as well as the heart, work and life of the man we call C. S. Lewis and she called Jack.
Becoming Mrs. Lewis is Patti’s 14th novel which include: Between the Tides, Driftwood Summer and The Bookshop at Water's End. She’s been a finalist in the Townsend Prize for Fiction, an Indie Next Pick, an OKRA pick, and a multiple nominee for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Novel of the Year, Patti is published in numerous languages. Her articles and essays have appeared in Southern Living, PINK, Writer’s Digest, Birmingham Magazine, Portico and more. Patti is a frequent speaker at luncheons, book clubs and women’s groups.
Here is what is being said about Becoming Mrs. Lewis: A Novel.
“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, a relationship 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, author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun
“In Becoming Mrs. Lewis, Patti Callahan breathes wondrous fresh life into one of the greatest literary love stories of all time: the unlikely romance between English writer C.S. Lewis and the much younger American divorcee, Joy Davidman. Callahan chronicles their complex and unconventional relationship with a sure voice, deep insight into character and eye for period detail. The result is a deeply moving story about love and loss that is transformative and magical.”
–Pam Jenoff, NYT Bestselling Author of The Orphan’s Tale
“Patti Callahan’s prose reads like poetry as she deftly unearths a lost love story that begs to be remembered and retold. 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 Bestselling author of Before We Were Yours
Growing up in Philadelphia as the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, Patti learned early the value of storytelling. At the age of twelve, her family moved to South Florida where Patti found the sanctuary of libraries, and most specifically stories by C. S. Lewis, and began her slow but steady journey into understanding the power of story to navigate confusing times in life.
Patti attended Auburn University for her undergraduate work, and Georgia State University for her graduate degree. Once a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, she now writes full time. Patti is the mother of three children and now lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.
Here are Patti’s speaking topics based in Becoming Mrs. Lewis:
Joy’s Spiritual Journey
If we should ever grow brave what in the world would ever become of us? This is the question Joy Davidman asked and then answered with her life. Her story is a metaphorical representation of so many spiritual “seekers" today. Her journey from a Jewish heritage, to atheism, communism and ultimately to Christian faith is a beautiful story of God’s endless pursuit of each of us even when we are unaware He is present. Joy’s spiritual life is a true representation of what it means to trust in God and not self.
Joy and Jack’s Improbable Love Story
This talk explores Joy’s fascinating and complex life before she met C. S. Lewis, and how Joy and Jack’s spiritual journeys merged to first bring them together as pen-pals in a deep friendship, and then eventually to lasting love. Over a decade the twists and turns of their love story meet obstacles at every turn — from across the ocean travel, to deep betrayal, to new environments and countries, through poverty, illness and binding societal pressures, and finally the ultimate realization of eros love.
Joy’s story for women
This talk Patti explores the connection between Joy and today’s women through Joy’s courage, her ability to “save her own life” by surrendering to God and leaving an abusive situation to beginning again despite all odds, to moving with her children to another culture and country to discover new life and love. Joy’s journey is the metaphor for a woman’s struggle to live an authentic and undivided life against society or family expectations, all the while asking that very important question, “If we should ever grow brave what it in the world would ever become of us?”