Once Upon a Wardrobe Published by Harper Muse on October 19, 2021
Source: Review copy
Genres: Fiction / Biographical, Fiction / Coming of Age, Fiction / Family Life / Siblings, Fiction / Historical / General
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From Patti Callahan, the bestselling author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis, comes another enchanting story that pulls back the curtain on the early life of C. S. Lewis.
“Where did Narnia come from?”
The answer will change everything.
Megs Devonshire is brilliant with numbers and equations, on a scholarship at Oxford, and dreams of solving the greatest mysteries of physics.
She prefers the dependability of facts—except for one: the younger brother she loves with all her heart doesn’t have long to live. When George becomes captivated by a brand-new book called The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and begs her to find out where Narnia came from, there’s no way she can refuse.
Despite her timidity about approaching the famous author, Megs soon finds herself taking tea with the Oxford don and his own brother, imploring them for answers. What she receives instead are more stories . . . stories of Jack Lewis’s life, which she takes home to George.
Why won’t Mr. Lewis just tell her plainly what George wants to know? The answer will reveal to Meg many truths that science and math cannot, and the gift she thought she was giving to her brother—the story behind Narnia—turns out to be his gift to her, instead: hope.
Praise for Once Upon a Wardrobe:
“I advise you to read this book, then wait for a while and then read it again, for while it may not be Narnia, there is magic in it.” —Douglas Gresham, C. S. Lewis’s stepson
"Exquisitely heartfelt, Once Upon a Wardrobe is a love letter to the magic of stories. I call it the Callahan Effect—from the first page to the last, Patti Callahan's wise and beautiful prose draws you in and doesn’t let you go." —Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author of First Frost and Lost Lake
“Once Upon a Wardrobe is a poignant meditation on the lengths we will go to for our loved ones as well as a fascinating glimpse into the early life of C. S. Lewis. Patti Callahan’s beautiful, life-affirming novel is a reminder that literature lives inside us, and that when we read someone else’s story, we understand so much more about our own. A gorgeous, compelling book.” —Janet Skeslien Charles, award-winning author of The Paris Library
“With a touch of fairy-tale magic, Once Upon a Wardrobe will take you behind the legend and deep into the English and Irish countryside, where you’ll encounter not only the inspirations for one of the 20th century’s most beloved works, but also a tale of heartache, hope, and discovery that will forever change the Narnia you thought you knew.” —Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars
“In this powerful, enchanting tale for all ages, readers uncover the inspiration for Lewis's famous books, while at the same time discovering the way in which stories—and myths—weave through our existences, subtly transforming us in immeasurable ways. Stunning.” —Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling author of The Mystery of Mrs. Christie
- New York Times bestselling author
- Also by Patti Callahan: Becoming Mrs. Lewis and Surviving Savannah
- Includes discussion questions for book clubs as well as a note from Douglas Gresham, C. S. Lewis’s stepson
Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe are a beloved classic that introduces young readers to the magical land of Narnia. There is a special unique magic about a book that you treasure in your childhood, and then another book in your adult bridges the gap between the two and gives you that unique wonderment. Once upon a wardrobe not very long ago and not very far away holds the amazement of a child question where did Narnia come from? It captures the realistic feel of adulthood in a captivating story about an imaginative author who takes from his life and transforms it into an extraordinary tale. The story centers around a sister who is desperate to answer her brother burning questions about Narnia. She attends College near where C.S. Lewis lives and only needs to be brave enough to ask him. Once she starts talking to him and his brother, a whole world opens up to her, as she a very logical kind of person. The biggest lesson I took from this book was “Imagination is the way to find meaning, reason is how we get to truth”. Once upon a wardrobe is a beautiful heartfelt, unique tale, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.