Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

Published:  October 2018 – Thomas Nelson

Free book provided by Thomas Nelson

Description:

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy. 

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had. (publisher)

My take:  Becoming Mrs. Lewis is about Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis – how they met, became friends (kindred spirits, really) and eventually married. It’s a fascinating story that pulled me in and left me a bit emotional as I turned the last page. Theirs was a cerebral relationship that grew passionate in time. Davidman and Lewis had much in common, not the least being a spiritual conversion – the reason for Davidman’s first letter to Lewis, which he answered, much to her surprise. When she travels to England on the advice of her physician Davidman finally meets Lewis in person. The rest, as they say, is history. Patti Callahan’s novel is well-researched (as detailed in her author’s note at the end of the book). I’m a fan of historical fiction and love when an author motivates me to read more about the subject. That was the case with Becoming Mrs. Lewis. I’ve added titles by Davidman and Lewis to my TBR list. Recommended to fans of the genre and Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis.


 

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Sunday Post

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

  

Last week on Bookfan:

    

Reading plan for this week:

Probably not much reading with the busy and fun holiday week.

 I wish all who celebrate Christmas a wonderful holiday.


 

The Valentine’s Curse by Jodi Thomas

The Valentine’s Curse by Jodi Thomas

Published:  Dec. 18, 2018 – Kensington

Book provided by the publisher and NetGalley

Description:  New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas takes you back to the Old West, where two strangers find love in the least likely place, with the least likely person, just in the nick of time . . .
 
As a Yankee in Texas two years after the Civil War, cowboy Broderick Monroe is given the jobs no one else wants to do—including keeping company with the cursed Widow Allen at the annual Valentine’s Day dance thrown by his boss’s wife.
 
After losing two husbands to the war, Valerie Allen has become a local pariah. Rumor has it that if a man touches her, he’ll be dead by morning. But Brody believes in curses about as much as he believes in love.
 
One secret embrace in the moonlight leads Valerie to think she has found a kindred spirit, but fate—and the curse—aren’t done with her yet . . . (publisher)

My take:  This novella was originally part of the anthology Be My Texas Valentine (published in 2012). It’s a story of two people who’ve been dealt some hard blows by life. When they meet at a Valentine’s dance they know they aren’t meant to be. He agreed to sit next to her when asked by his boss’s wife and she is too proper to disagree. But that doesn’t mean she must speak to him. She’s known around the county as a cursed widow. He’s known as a Yankee and only tolerated because of his strong work ethic. As always happens in a Jodi Thomas story, unexpected circumstances will change the course of lives and this reader loved finding out how. Told in the author’s warm and charming style this is a novella her fans and those of historical western romance will want to read. I’m glad I finally discovered it!


 

Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser

Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser

Pub. date:  Feb. 5, 2019 – St. Martin’s Press

Review galley from St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley

Description:

Molly and Liza have always been enviably close. Even after Molly married Daniel, the couple considered Liza an honorary family member. But after Liza moved away, things grew more strained than anyone wanted to admit—in the friendship and the marriage.

When Daniel goes away on business, Molly and Liza plan to reconnect with a nice long video chat after the kids are in bed. But then Molly leaves the room to check on a crying child.

What Liza sees next will change everything.

Only one thing is certain: Molly needs her. Liza drives all night to be at Molly’s side—but when she arrives, the reception is icy, leaving Liza baffled and hurt. She knows there’s no denying what she saw.

Or is there?

In disbelief that their friendship could really be over, Liza is unaware she’s about to have a near miss of her own.

And Molly, refusing to deal with what’s happened, won’t turn to Daniel, either.

But none of them can go on pretending. Not after this.

Forget You Know Me is a “twisty, emotionally complex, powder keg of a tale” (bestselling author Emily Carpenter) about the wounds of people who’ve grown apart. Best friends, separated by miles. Spouses, hardened by neglect. A mother, isolated by pain.

One moment will change things for them all. (publisher)

My take:  When longtime friends Molly and Liza finally find time in their busy lives to connect via video chat something happens that will have far-reaching consequences. Molly is married and mother of two small children. Her husband Daniel has grown weary of her attempts to find a cure for her chronic pain. Feeling unsupported Molly is pulled in other directions – one being a new neighbor (a recent widower) and his toddler. She has secrets she keeps from her husband that could prove to be her undoing. I grew a bit anxious just learning about Molly’s secrets. But Daniel has secrets of his own.

Molly is going through a huge life change forced by a catastrophic event. It will force her to question so many things she once thought unshakable. Will she have the courage to move forward?

Forget You Know Me is about messy relationships made messier by life and the inability to work things out or know when its time to call it a day. I liked it and have to add that the final chapters really upped my satisfaction with the resolution. As one would hope, right? Recommended to fans of novels about messy emotional and moral entanglements that just might result in second chances.


 

Sunday Post

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

   

Last week on Bookfan:

  • Review:  Christmas on the Island

Reading plan for this week:

The book I intended to read last week didn’t happen. Instead my mom came to stay with us for most of the week because the plumbing pipes in her 75+ year old home decided to virtually disintegrate and needed to be replaced. She couldn’t stay there while the work was being done so she came to visit. We had a nice time and are hoping that’s the last of house issues she’ll have for a long time.

I think an audiobook is the way to go this week so I just need to decide which one.


 

Christmas On The Island by Jenny Colgan

Christmas On The Island by Jenny Colgan

Published:  October 2018 – William Morrow Paperbacks

Thanks for the free/gifted book, @WmMorrowBooks @LibraryThing 

Description:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Café by the Sea—whose novels are “an evocative, sweet treat” (JOJO MOYES)—comes this heartwarming holiday novel set on a charming Scottish island

On the remote Scottish island of Mure, the Christmas season is stark, windy, and icy—yet incredibly festive and beautiful…

It’s a time for getting cozy in front of whisky barrel wood fires, and enjoying a dram and a treacle pudding with the people you love—unless, of course, you’ve accidentally gotten pregnant by your ex-boss, and don’t know how to tell him. In the season for peace and good cheer, will Flora find the nerve to reveal the truth to her nearest and dearest? Will her erstwhile co-parent Joel think she’s the bearer of glad tidings—or is this Christmas going to be as bleak as the Highlands in midwinter?

Meanwhile Saif, a doctor and refugee from war-torn Syria is trying to enjoy his first western Christmas with his sons on this remote island where he’s been granted asylum. His wife, however, is still missing, and her absence hangs over what should be a joyful celebration. Can the family possibly find comfort and joy without her?

Travel to the beautiful northern edge of the world and join the welcoming community of Mure for a Highland Christmas you’ll never forget! (publisher)

My take:  I loved catching up with Flora and her family and friends on the (imaginary) island of Mure. This is the third in a series about the lovely inhabitants of Mure. If you haven’t read the first two books you really should before dipping into this book. You’ll want to learn all about the people – get the context of their relationships. I have loved each book and the third just as much. It boils down to connections between people and how we all need them and must continue to try to do better – in every way. I really hope this isn’t the last I’ll read of the people of Mure. There are some ends that weren’t completely tied up – and I need some reassurance!