(Review) Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C. S. Lewis

Publisher and Publication Date: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc. I do not know the publishing date. The publishing company existed between 1960 and 1970. The book only has one date and that’s the copyright date of 1955.
Genre: Nonfiction. Autobiography.
Pages: 239.
Format: Hardcover.
Source: The book was in a to be thrown away pile at a church. It was gifted to me.
Audience: Readers of C. S. Lewis.
Rating: Very good.

Amazon link
If you are an Audible member this book is included with membership.

Official website of C. S. Lewis

Surprised By Joy is the story of C. S. Lewis’ life. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1898. His mother died when he was a boy. He and his older brother were raised by a single parent father. Both boys went on to higher learning. Both boys were in World War I. C. S. Lewis was a teacher at Magdalen College, Oxford, and at Cambridge. He later wrote both fiction and nonfiction books. He was a leader in the literary group Inklings.
Goodreads has a list of 67 books Lewis wrote.
Lewis explains in the preface he had been encouraged to write a book about his conversion from atheism to Christianity. Surprised By Joy is Lewis’ biography and the story of his conversion to Christianity.
Clive Staples Lewis died on November 22, 1963. He and John F. Kennedy both died on the same day.

My Thoughts:
My copy is a gem because it’s at least an early edition. I’m so thankful it was saved from a trash dump.
I’ve read several of Lewis’ books, but Surprised By Joy is a first time read. I’ve heard other authors refer to this book and my interest had been peaked.
What I love about this book is Lewis is matter of fact about the telling his life story. He doesn’t use descriptive words to create drama. His mother’s death impacted his life. His experiences during World War I impacted his life. He moves through those memories and doesn’t stop long. This book was written before his marriage to Joy Davidman.
It is at the end of the book that the word joy begins to register in my mind as to what he’d been looking for in life.
His story gave me an understanding of his thought process, motivations, and ambitions; and, the journey from unbelieving to believing.


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