Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Man Jack

We've lived in the house of health horror this week, with several people, including me, down with various symptoms, so it's been a very low-key couple of days. I'm still working my way through "The Post American World" and finished the chapter on The Challenger (China). Very thought provoking, especially as Miss.R's beau just spent 3 years in China. The book is fascinating, but work, and my head has hurt too much lately to work too hard. "Jack's Life, A Memoir of C.S.Lewis" by his step-son, Douglas Gresham has been in the house all week, Viking Man had already finished it and I figured it was my turn. Because of him, I'm just as big a fan of Lewis as he is, along with all of our off-spring.
Gresham narrates the Family Radio Theater production of Narnia and if you are familiar with it, as we are, you can almost hear his rich, melodious voice coming off the page. His writing style is very similar to Lewis' and hauntingly beautiful and wonderfully descriptive. I've loved Lewis for the past quarter century and his writings are among my very, very, very favorite. He has broadened my understanding of the world in so many ways and in my mind I consider him an older, wiser, brother in the Lord. This book was sweet in that it was written by someone who considers him a mentor, just like me, and was willing to ask hard questions, but not criticize too broadly. I appreciated that.
Gresham describes his mother in terms that a son who loved her and lost her early would and describes the friendship, civil marriage, and then love story that evolved between Joy and Jack with wonder and reverence.
Till We Have Faces is my all time favorite book and Gresham attributes the writing to a collaboration between Joy and Jack and one Jack considers his best work. I like it all the better now.
I actually cried at the death of Joy, and again at Jack. Too many days with a blinding headache and nausea and maybe too many losses myself this year. Gresham weaves his own faith and trust in the One True Living God throughout the story in a way that is true, and never preachy. It's clear he loved and was devoted to Jack and his tribute to his step-dad does him proud. An excellent, beautiful book.

5 comments:

windyridgebooks said...

Good review! It's going on my To Be Read list right now...

Laughing Lioness said...

I'm glad. I loved it = )!

Eileen Rush said...

I'm going to add this one to my reading list too! Thanks for the great review. I also need to check out "Till We Have Faces." I read a lot of C.S. Lewis's work when I was in my teens, but I think I would appreciate them now more than ever. Cheers!

hopeinbrazil said...

My husband and I are big C.S. Lewis fans too. Looks like we'll have to get our hands on this book.

Daisy said...

This sounds wonderful.