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Monday, September 28, 2015

Joy Poet, Seeker, and the Woman Who Captivated C. S. Lewis by Abigail Santamaria

The story of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman is one of the great love stories of all time, as Abigail Santamaria writes in her well-written and interesting biography.  However, I found this book difficult to read because Joy was so unlikeable compared with her rather jolly and fun-loving husband.  I thought that it was amazing that Lewis fell in love with this annoying woman!

However, Lewis had a strange history with women.  He lived with his friend's mother for many years, and some biographers think that this was a platonic relationship, but it is a mystery.  She was 25 years older, divorced, and demanding.  The young academic was, no doubt, looking for a mother-figure because his mother died when he was very young.

Like Mrs Moore, Joy was divorced and didn't have much money.  However, she was also a much younger intellectual and writer.  Many people found her abrasive and inclined to be shocking.  She also seemed to neglect her sons and hit them a lot.  I tend to agree with Lewis's father who said that his son was 'impetuous' and 'kind-hearted' so he 'could be cajoled by any woman who had been through the mill'.

This book is a thoroughly-researched analysis of Joy's character and her famous love affair and marriage.  I look forward to reading more of Santamaria's books.

I received this free ebook from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Santamaria, Abigail, Joy Poet, Seeker, and the Woman Who Captivated C. S. Lewis
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardback  $28.00

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