Her name was Helen and she was brilliant. She graduated from high school at age fourteen and earned a master’s degree from Columbia University by the time she was twenty. Raised in a secular Jewish home, she was an atheist for much of her life. She won awards for her poetry and joined the American Communist Party. She married a fellow communist during WWII and had two children. After converting to Christianity in her mid-thirties, she visited England and she fell in love with Jack, a writer who greatly admired her but did not return her romantic interest. In 1953, after finding out that her husband was having an affair with her cousin and wanted a divorce, she left America and moved to England.
Three years later Helen Joy Davidman married the English writer. Everyone called him Jack, but his actual name was Clive Staples Lewis.
In her excellent new book, Becoming Mrs. Lewis (Thomas Nelson $25.99), Birmingham author Patti Callahan Henry offers a fictional account of the remarkable love story involving one of the most significant Christian writers of the last century. Joy Davidman was brilliant, passionate, and a maverick. C. S. Lewis may have been equally brilliant, but a passionate maverick he was not. Perhaps the death of his mother and the horror of the Great War compelled him to keep his passions and feelings safely locked away. But Joy held the key, and she unlocked his heart and set him free.
After I finished reading Becoming Mrs. Lewis, I thought about a verse in the First Epistle of John. “He who loves, knows God.” I have no doubt that loving Joy Davidman brought Lewis closer to God, for it isn’t our doctrinal acumen that opens the door to the Kingdom of God. It is love.
-Darrel Holcombe, Owner
Sanctuary Christian Books and Gifts
Colonial Promenade, Alabaster