Synopses & Reviews
Sheldon and Davy Vanauken knew at once that they shared the most rare of loves. Basing their lives on a dogma of complete sharing and a unselfish focus on what was best for both, they created what they dubbed the Shining Barrier to safeguard their tiny, self-sufficient world of two from everything else. Then an Oxford don named C.S. Lewis came into their lives, bringing with him a Christianity unlike that which they had scorned years before, and they started to wonder if they were as untouchable by the world as they had once thought. When both became Christians, their love continued, stronger than ever. But when Davy became fatally ill, everything they thought they understood was again called into question.
A Severe Mercy is Sheldon' s story of the love he and Davy shared and his struggle to cope with her sickness and death. His journey of theological exploration is buttressed throughout by remarkable letters from C.S. Lewis that offer compassion and theological insight, as well as a penetrating glimpse into Lewis' own burgeoning relationship with Joy Davidman, a relationship that would in many ways parallel that of Sheldon and Davy.
"Here is a book for anyone who has truly loved another person." Christianity Today
"A towering and noble work in its own right, wrought by a real craftsman." New Oxford Review
"[A] deep, uncompromising story about human and divine love." Los Angeles Times
"A gem of a book . . . delivers an extraordinary impact on the reader." Eternity
"No brief review can do justice to the human depth of this book. It invites us to explore a beautiful dollhouse of love and to witness the destruction of a relation too exquisite to last." Washington Post
Beloved, profoundly moving account of the author's marriage, the couple's search for faith and friendship with C. S. Lewis, and a spiritual strength that sustained Vanauken after his wife's untimely death.
This acclaimed story traces the idyllic marriage of Sheldon and Jean Vanauken, their search for faith, their friendship with C.S. Lewis and the tragedy of untimely death and love lost. It includes 18 letters by C.S. Lewis. A winner of the National Religious Book Award and the Gold Medallion Award.
About the Author
Sheldon Vanauken (1914-1996) was the author of Gateway to Heaven, The Glittering Illusion, and Under the Mercy, the sequel to A Severe Mercy.