"Shadowlands" by Brian Hibley: A Mini-Review
This book tells the story of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman, and shows how, confronting Joy's suffering with cancer, they found a special love.
Brian Sibley begins by looking at Lewis's life, from his childhood. Then, at an early age, Lewis and his brother had to face the pain of their mother's death from cancer. The story continues through Lewis's schooldays and his fighting in the trenches during the First World War to his position as an Oxford Don. It was then, as the Second World War broke out, that he began to become well-known as a populariser of Christian truths with such books as "The Screwtape Letters", "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe", and "Mere Christianity"-the latter being a transcript of broadcast talks which Lewis gave on the radio.
It was Lewis's writings which brought him to the attention of Joy Davidman. Brian Sibley shows how her desire to seek after truth and unselfishness had taken her on a journey through communism and into Christianity. In the 1950's she met Lewis and they became good friends. Lewis prompted her to write a modern evaluation of the Ten Commandments which was published as "Smoke on the Mountain". But it was not until she was struck down with cancer that he came to realise that their relationship had gone beyond friendship to love. How they coped with her suffering, and how, after her death, Lewis came to terms with his grief, forms the final part of this book.
This is a well-researched book, and Brian Sibley is to be congratulated on finding out all the small anecdotes which make the story so vivid.
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