Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Severe Mercy

I first read this book the summer after my freshman year of college. That summer, I was bored and looking for something interesting to read when I found a plain blue book with no dustjacket on a shelf in the closet. Opening it, I saw it said "Merry Christmas Kathy - 1978." I was intrigued enough to pick it up and read the first few pages. I'm so glad I did because I loved it, and it provided me with some interesting and thought-provoking reading material that summer! I just recently re-read it and was reminded of how much I love the story.

A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken, is a true autobiographical story. The story mainly focuses on Sheldon's relationship with his wife - how they met, how they dated, and then their marriage as well. There are two main aspects of this book that set it apart from all others. First of all (Spoiler alert), his wife becomes terminally ill and the way they deal with her illness is so inspiring but broke my heart at the same time. Secondly, Sheldon becomes good friends with C.S. Lewis and regularly corresponds with him. He includes all the letters in this book reproduced almost exactly as they were written. It's a very interesting view into C.S. Lewis's mind as well, and the short letters contain huge themes and truths in them. I'm not sure anyone else would be able to write so much so clearly in a letter!

This book is definitely not a quick read, but it's not at all boring or difficult. It's more just one of those books that you want to take your time with  and really savor every word as you go. There is also a good amount of poetry included, for those of you (Julie!) who really like that.

Let me know if you read it and what you think!

1 comment:

Julie said...

I will have to read it! Just added it to my list.