C.S. Lewis: Christian and Storyteller (Men of Spirit)
From School Library Journal
It is difficult to write about Lewis and not mention his Christianity. Gormley does a good job of focusing on her subject's spiritual life while providing a solid biographical context against which to examine it. His personal relationships, from his troubled one with his father, to his late-in-life marriage to Joy Davidman, are thoroughly explored, both for their import for him as a Christian, and as a writer.
Other influences on his work are also discussed. Gormley describes Lewis's relationship with J.R.R. Tolkien, who did not like the "Narnia" books, and with other members of his writers' group, the Inklings, who played integral parts in his life. Quotes from the subject, his family, and friends lend a certain intimacy to the presentation.
Pictures of Lewis and those close to him also enhance the book. This title continues what Michael Coren touches upon in The Man Who Created Narnia (Eerdmans, 1996), albeit with a stronger emphasis on Lewis's spirituality. Students looking for more than the basic biography will certainly find it here.ACarol Fazioli, Cardinal Hayes Library, Manhattan College, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 6^-9. Gormley does an excellent job of introducing Lewis, a Christian philosopher and author, to the many young people who have enjoyed his Chronicles of Narnia. As the author's note and the annotated bibliography show, Gormley has used many sources, including Lewis' own writings, to piece together his story. In doing so, she focuses on how Lewis' early life, including the death of his mother and his uneasy relationship with his father, had a continuing impact on his adult life and his writings.
Most central to her story, however, is Lewis' personal journey from atheist to committed Christian, and Gormley frames this inner conflict in a way readers will not only understand but also identify with. Small black-and-white pictures break up the text, but the layout is not particularly inviting. A readable biography that should attract Narnia fans. See the March 1 issue's Professional Reading column for a review of Journey to Narnia, a companion piece to the Narnia Chronicles. Ilene Cooper