Read Through the Shadowlands: The Love Story of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman by Brian Sibley Online


In time for the 2005 release of The Chronicles of Narnia movie, Sibley provides the full story behind the movie Shadowlands....

Title : Through the Shadowlands: The Love Story of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780800730703
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 205 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Through the Shadowlands: The Love Story of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman Reviews

  • Graham
    2019-01-20 16:16

    Still so inspired every time I read about this amazing author and his life of discovery.It comes through so clearly how, even though he was a gigantically gifted person, he was very much a human.The way he grapples with his faith after losing his wife is an encouragement to anyone who walks through "deep waters".A quote that struck me from this book: "He always knew my temple was a house of cards. The only way he could get me to recognise this fact was to knock it down".Also made me excited again about reading and made a list of authors from the book that Lewis enjoyed; a whole new trail for me to follow!Onwards and upwards!

  • Lara
    2019-01-11 16:21

    I give this 5 stars, yet am not sure it's a book that would appeal to many. It is mainly a book about loss. It also gives a really great biography on C.S. Lewis. I was surprised to realize he didn't grow up a Christian. He became a believer later in life. Because of his excellent theological books (most of which are too deep for me to understand) and his awesome good vs. evil in Narnia, I thought he was one of those folks that grew up in the church. And I also thought he was married most of his adult life. He wasn't. His wife, Joy Davidman, sounded like an amazing person and this book did her, both of them, justice. For me it was good to hear about another person that went through heavy grief. For some reason there is peace in that. Other than that I can't really say why I needed this book so much, but I did.

  • Katherine
    2019-01-15 17:06

    I enjoyed reading about C.S.Lewis, an author who is well-known for his children's Narnia books as well as many books and articles on the Christian faith. This book concentrated on the years he knew Joy Davidman, first in correspondence and later as a friend and eventually his wife. There was much about "Jack" Lewis that I had never known before, though I have read several of his works. The fact that Joy had been born Jewish, was for a long time an agnostic and Communist, and a divorce' made the friendship between the two highly unlikely. Joy converted to Christianity before the two met in person. The years of their marriage were few, as shortly after they were married, Joy was diagnosed with cancer. Her struggles with the disease, a few short years of remission, and then relapse are well written. The effect her death had on Lewis made him for a while question his own faith, the faith that inspired so many others. How he eventually worked his way back to belief, while only dealt with briefly, was powerful.I would recommend this book to those who like biographies, are interested in learning more about this famous author, or enjoy an inspirational true story.

  • Melanie
    2019-01-21 17:09

    I read this when I was 12 as a time passer in a foreign country where no one spoke english and it was the only literature that could be found in the house that was in English. I wasnt expecting much being young and silly, but I was pleasantly surprised. I couldnt put the book down. C.S. Lewis' Life was so interesting and amazing, and Sad. I read through the night till I was finished. Amazing Man, one of my favourite author's. Reading this gave me such insights into his life, helped me understand how he became such an Awesome writer. To be fair I havent read it since, so these are all my memories of the book from when I read it, the ideas of a 12 year old, Hmm Need to read it again YeSh!

  • Emily
    2018-12-30 16:05

    {4.5}The title does say "love story", but this is hardly what one would imagine as such and contains nothing questionable for any age. It's more the in-depth background stories of both C. S. Lewis and his wife, Joy, leading up to the familiar stories that most people probably know about Lewis. A great way to learn more about two people who were radically changed- and who helped change others- by God's grace.

  • Amanda McDougle
    2019-01-12 19:19

    The love of C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidson was controlled by the Church of England. In the Church's eyes, a divorced woman sinned if she remarried. This allowed no room for flexibility in an American woman's struggle to survive on her own while raising two young boys. As a wife of domestic violence (by modern law), Joy fled to England and created a new life with her children. Many of Jack's judgmental literary friends judged Joy for being a gold digger. Jack paid the expensive tuition for Joy's sons at private schools. When Joy faced the possibility of losing her visa, Jack decided to marry her. This is where the Church comes into play. After reading the active role the Church played in the lives of citizens from England, I have a better understanding of why early citizens left for America. The Church dictated the first phase of the Lewis marriage. Jack married Joy to fulfill a social obligation he had as a friend. This meant the married couple lived in two separate houses. The married produced the abrupt vacancy of Joy from her house. When Joy fell down and broke her hip, Jack fell in love with her. He stepped up to the plate to be a loving husband and be more considerate of his wife's biological needs. As a small child, Jack watched his own mother suffer and pass away from cancer. As a man in his sixties, Jack watched Joy slowly slip away from his world. The death of Jack's mother resulted in his brother abusing alcohol and him turning to education. Their father was not able to speak about his wife's death. The grieving process never ended for Jack, even after Joy's death. People were afraid to discuss Joy's death with Jack and her two sons. Jack did keep his feelings in journal format in a book called A Grief Observed. This literary piece expresses the emotions Jack felt during the grieving process. Being able to open up enabled Jack to handle living. This living did not last long, as Jack passed away from a heart attack.Further research on C.S. ("Jack") Lewis led me to discover that Douglas Gresham remembered his stepfather being able to recall childhood stories from his photographic memory. Jack also made sure food was kosher before the boys returned home for visits. My research has led me to the conclusion that Jack's actions were as thoughtful as his wife's writing of Anya. I felt like I attended the greatest love story ever written. Two intellectual minds meeting on a high tidal wave that never stops is the way I would describe the Lewis marriage. Joy was stolen from Jack's life too many times. I am left with the following question: What became of the American woman Jack corresponded with for so many years? Did she attend Jack's funeral? Did she become a famous feminist writer?

  • Jeremy
    2019-01-14 15:33

    Misery. Joy. Poetry. Very worth the read. Well organized with poignant poetry by the subjects of the biography.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-12-26 17:10

    This was SUCH a weird book. If you love all things C.S. Lewis-ian and you are the kind of person who loved reading The Encyclopaedia Britannica for fun when you were a kid, you will like this book. I liked reading about all of his books in their historical context, especially their relationship to what was occurring in Lewis' life. I also like how the book is telling a story primarily through passages from Lewis', Joy Davidman's, and their contemporaries' writings. There were SO many interesting tidbits in here: C.S. Lewis went by "Jack" his entire life; Tolkien was the first person to read Narnia and hated it, even discouraging Lewis to pursue publishing it; and the story behind A Grief Observed.However, even though I fit both of the above categories (i.e., encyclopedia-reading, Lewis-obsessed), I still had issues with this book. It might have been the obvious, blinding infatuation the author had with Lewis. Or it might have been the way the author viewed the relationship between Joy Davidman and Lewis: repeatedly describing her an unattractive American divorcee who relentlessly pursued and was lucky enough to land Lewis. The author's apparent disregard for the women in Lewis' life is a theme throughout the book. The mysterious Mrs. Moore ("a woman of very limited mind, and notably domineering and possessive by temperament") "traps" Lewis into a life of quiet desperation. The "American lady friend" who was, it seems, his most significant relationship at the end of his life, was never even named, though Lewis' intimate letters to her are substantially quoted. However, all of his male friends, who mostly abandoned him at the end of his life, are named and described in detail. Mostly, this book just left me wanting to know the real story behind C.S. Lewis' life, absent the apparent prejudices of the author.

  • Geoffery Wolfe
    2019-01-11 18:33

    I will admit that I only recently heard about the relationship between C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman from the NY revival of the stage play 'Shadowlands', which led me to seek out this book. I had grown up on Narnia but hadn't really explored Lewis' other works, or known much about the man aside from his turn from atheism to Christianity. And in a culture that says marry young and fast otherwise you never will, to hear about a love story between two middle-aged people intrigued me.To put bluntly, this book humbled and convicted me in the best way possible. To see how 2 people who came from vastly different viewpoints arrive to Christianity and find each other in the twilight years of their lives, and after a time become so in love beyond what many people experience in this life is beautiful to read and watch playout. I'd say this book is a necessary companion piece if you are a fan of C.S. Lewis and his writings; I cannot do justice here just how eye-opening and inspiring this book is about the life behind the pen of a man that is not often seen or considered.

  • Helen
    2019-01-10 14:04

    A bit disappointing in that it takes almost the whole first half of the book before we even get to Joy and her relationship with CS Lewis. A lot of rehashing and reselling of Lewis' early life, only some of which would be relative to the story the author is attempting to tell, in a way to set up how Lewis related to women.

  • Lisa
    2018-12-24 19:09

    I've wanted to read this book for years as I have always been impressed with the life and mind and writings of C.S. Lewis. And I loved the movie "Shadowlands". Now I have finally gotten to it. I will keep it and put it next to my collection of Lewis books. However, I found this book much like Lewis' own books: moments of brilliance that I had to wade through much dry writing to get to.Jack and Joy's love story is one of the greatest of all time. His description of can send one to the floor as he, for a brief shining moment had what every human being craves:Joy was "my daughter, my mother, my pupil and my teacher, my subject and my sovereign, trusty comrade, friend, shipmate, fellow soldier...""no cranny of heart or body remained unsatisfied.""the pains you give me are more precious than all other gains.""How long, how tranquilly, how nourishingly we talked together that last night.""There were so many joys to be remembered:... games of Scrabble played simultaneously in English, French, Latin, and Greek, the cut and thrust of argument, long walks followed by pints of ale in old pubs, talk of books and bookmen -- George MacDonald, Jane Austen, Dr. Johnson, H.G. Wells and Samuel Pepys, music -- Mozart and Chopin...poetry, read aloud... over which they often read together."How could one not be absolutely swept away by such a love story of similar souls, fortunate enough to find each other if only for a brief moment in time?That is why I was so disappointed in the dryness of the writing. It's a great love story. It should have been a page turner and it wasn't. However, I am glad I read it. Because I wanted the story, and this was the only way to get it.3 stars, shoulda been 5.

  • Claire Campbell
    2019-01-02 12:29

    A very sweet, poignant, and to the point retelling of the surprising love story between C.S. Lewis and Joy. I think what's so inspiring is the reminder that love can come when and how we least expect it. Jack aka Clive Staples Lewis was a confirmed bachelor living with his brother and working away between writing books and teaching at Oxford (and later Cambridge) when this divorced mother of two and former Communist atheist came into his life. And, heads up, I was not using that description as a criticism. I think they fell in love with each other's minds. Lewis was quite the philosopher and his Christianity was never really highbrow, judgmental, or intolerant (people overlook that in Surprised By Joy, his autobiography, he actually recounts the very common homoerotic shenanigans that occurred in all boys schools and rests the issue at basically saying since he was not, he was not going to judge the issue, also he chose his church based on nearness to his house and refused to side with any denomination over the other - a hellfire Bible thumper, Lewis was not and I think that gets overlooked too much). Lewis was quite set ablaze by this intelligent, opinionated woman with a past and even he was stunned to find love, passion, and even attraction enter his life so late in the game. Whether you read this as an affirmation of faith, or see in it the spiritual power that exists when soul mates come together, it is a beautiful story worth knowing and this author does a very good job of giving us those glimpses without being too lengthy, so I do recommend this for Lewis fans and anyone who likes reading about true love stories.

  •  Barb Bailey
    2019-01-18 12:29

    Loved this book...would reccomend to anyone. A ture and lovely love story and more! At first glance, they were an unlikely couple: C. S. Lewis, a distinguished author and Oxford scholar, and Joy Davidman, a Jewish-American divorce, converted Christian, mother of two, and former Communist Party member. But together they walked through life's challenges, persevering despite having their faith tested in the face of suffering and death. This amazing true story reveals the many events that occurred in the lives of two astounding Christians to bring them together and spark their love for each other. Readers will experience both their tender moments and the darkest hours where faith was tested and shaken to its very foundations. More than a biography and more than a love story, this is a moving tribute to a couple whose faith, hope, and love grew through adversity. Previously published as C. S. Lewis Through the Shadowlands.

  • Leslie
    2019-01-04 12:28

    There are already enough good reviews for anyone to know what this book is about. What makes it stand out from the others out there about my dear C S Lewis is that this one really covers her life in great detail. The boys are important in this book as well. There is much more info here than in either movie too. The true story especially as far as the order of events and the ages of the people are vastly different than in either of the movies. Having mentioned the two movies, both called Shadowlands, I will say I liked the older one better, it had more detail, esp about her story of conversion, her miserable ex husband and it showed both her sons. The only thing I missed in this book was photos. My copy had none. If you love the photos like I do, find a copy of The Narnian. It's my favorite bio of my dear C S Lewis, even if it doesn't give much coverage to Joy.

  • Sandy T
    2019-01-20 19:34

    I was really interested in learning more of the story of this most unusual and unlikely couple: C. S. Lewis, a distinguished author and Oxford scholar, and Joy Davidman, a divorced Jewish-American, converted Christian, mother of two, and former Communist Party member... The part of the book that told of their life together was a 4-5 star read, but unfortunately it encompassed only the last third of the book. The first 2/3rds told of Lewis' early years and briefly about Joy's background. Though I appreciated learning more about Lewis' life, much of the information read like a dry history textbook...All said, I'm anxious to see the movie again now!

  • Judith
    2019-01-15 19:11

    A very interesting and insightful book into the life of C.S. Lewis and how he came to write the books he did. He was a close friend of Tolkien - something I was not aware of. An almost tragic life: mother dying and father pretty much ignoring his sons, taking responsibility for a friend's mother when he dies in the war (and she very much controlling his life and making it difficult for him), his struggle with his beliefs, a confirmed bachelor until he met Joy Davidman and fell in love and their very short and bittersweet time together. I will happily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys biographies and kudos to Brian Sibley for putting this together so well.

  • Sue
    2018-12-23 20:27

    The story of CS Lewis, and Joy Davidman whom he met and married late in life. Well-researched - although re-reading, I found the early section about CS Lewis a little dull since I had read about his life so many times - but the brief biography of Joy Davidman and the story of their unexpected romance was moving. The opening chapter tells of Joy's funeral; she was very ill when they married, and their time together was brief but very special. I expected to spend a week or two reading this, but found it hard to put down once I'd reached the section about Joy. Recommended to anyone interested in either of these fascinating people.

  • Lotte
    2018-12-25 16:26

    One of my favorite thinkers and authors. My gift to Bethie for 2008 while she is on her mission was 52 C. S. Lewis quotes - one per week for her to open and savor. I realized how little I knew about his personal life and found this book so intriguing I could hardly put it down. It turned out to be a page-turner for me (and I found several wonderful quotes that were new to me). Who can't love flawed British geniuses (meaning like the rest of us as far as the flawed goes) nicknamed Jack and Warnie?

  • Tommy Grooms
    2019-01-11 16:05

    Beautiful look into the life of C.S. Lewis and his relationship with Joy Davidman, an unlikely couple who ended up being perfect for each other. There's nothing extraordinarily original in here, but the book's appeal is its focus on their relationship told chronologically. There is still much I don't know about Davidman and I like that I got to know her better. I appreciated that the author did his best to tell the story in the words of his subjects as often as possible, pulling quotes from books and letters.

  • Kris
    2019-01-12 12:16

    Better than the autobiography "Suprised By Joy" in showing the human behind the formidable name of CS Lewis. And with Joy in the pages it adds the romance element SBJ lacks. Really, who doesn't like a great love story? Actually, SBJ was written just as Joy entered Jack's life and his friends were amused by the title of his autobiography. Shadowlands doesn't have all the deep thoughts and summaries of situations of SBJ but it's a great way to get to know CS Lewis and the people he cared most about, Warnie and Joy.

  • Greg
    2019-01-08 17:25

    I'm not really sure why this book was written but I'm glad to have come across it anyway. Short and seat but no words were wasted. The best decision Sibley made in writing this book was mostly quoting Lewis and Davidman themselves. Reading Lewis passages, even in complete isolation, is quite simply breathtaking. There's a lot of Lewis' work I still need to read and this reminded me that I need to move some of those up the queue.

  • Meghan
    2018-12-31 14:16

    Great quick read! Although I read C.S. Lewis' Narnia books as a child, I knew very little about the man himself! This is an unlikely and touching romance, told mostly through the words of Joy Davidman, C.S. Lewis, and the other individuals who figured prominently into their lives together. Brian Sibley did a fantastic job of compiling so many different sources into one definitive tale of the couple's love. Definitely recommend!

  • Melissa
    2019-01-12 15:27

    We read this book for book club, and I was expecting a cozy, little love story based on the subtitle with a twist of Christianity--perfect for December, right? It was much more of a biography than a love story, which was disappointing to me. However, there were still some good lesson to be learned on conversion to Christ, dedication to maintaining conversion, and still trusting in God when difficult things happen.

  • Karen
    2018-12-27 18:32

    Well written book that helps explain a bit about the life of CS Lewis (Jack) and his wife that I actually knew nothing about. His books are so good and written so full of spiritual faith that it was interesting to read that he struggled with life too just like all of us. Sad in many parts but yet he continued to Praise the Lord throughout his life until the very end, prayerfully we can all be so faithful!

  • Shelley
    2019-01-17 15:21

    I really enjoyed this book. I'm not a huge biography reader, so I liked that this book was very focused I scope. I learned a lot about CS Lewis and admire him even more. I appreciated that this isn't a "tell all" about their relationship, but focuses more on how they came to meet and fall in love and still left them with dignity and privacy. I would have been disappointed with anything more. The treatment of Joy' s death is somewhat quick, so I was surprised to moved to tears.

  • Kathy
    2018-12-27 12:15

    This book was very reflective. It is a story of C.S. Lewis life. His life is in one aspect how he started as an agnostic and through time and spiritual experiences, begins to realize there is a God and Jesus Christ. I found myself putting the book down and contemplating on my testimony and thoughts of family and friends. How dear they are. I would recommend this book. I had always wondered why the church leaders would refererence his writings, and now I know.

  • Mike Lewis
    2019-01-07 20:16

    A short and simple book, I did offer some insight into the man who gave us so many essential Christian reads. The most interesting events of the book surrounded his marriage to Joy, and the social consequences of the union. I just wish it was longer and showed more of some of the aspects of his life.

  • Phyl
    2019-01-12 17:18

    A story of CS Lewis's relationship with Joy Davidman. I found it more 'commercial' and maybe even, more about Joy than about 'Jack'. Having read this book, after reading 'Jack' by George Sayer, I found that they complemented each other. However I much preferred 'Jack' for its style of writing, content and presentation.

  • Natalie Gamble
    2018-12-26 19:11

    I liked learning more of the life of C.S. Lewis and his wife Joy. He was a very interesting man. I had just finished reading surprised by joy so I did get a little bit bored at the beginning rereading the same stuff I had just read about C.S. Lewis's life growing up, but then once I got to new material I really enjoyed it.

  • Hilarie Oliver
    2018-12-29 19:06

    C.S. Lewis and his brother Warnie really come alive throughout his books about his life. This book gives more of the setting and back story of Joy Davidman. I was touched that a man who had decided love and marriage wouldn't happen for him, found the joy and pain of loss in having a marriage of love and support, and being needed.