Companion Reading

 You all know by now what a fan I am of family read alouds, and this month our book is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  We do lots of fun things to make it a memorable experience, like baking Mrs. Beaver's orange rolls and Turkish Delight or paining the lamppost (ideas from this guide).  We also study language arts through dictation from our books via The Arrow guides from Brave Writer (as part of our homeschool).  But, my favorite way to get more out of a family read aloud is to read a companion book for myself.

 Becoming Mrs. Lewis has been on my radar since I heard Douglas Gresham on the Read Aloud Revival podcast, but I was saving it, knowing I'd be reading TLTWATW this December. Mr. Gresham is one of the two sons of Joy Gresham from her first marriage.  C.S. Lewis adopted them when he married Joy and even dedicated The Horse and His Boy to them both.  I'm eager to listen to the podcast again once I finish reading it, but if I recall correctly he was pleased with how his mother and stepfather were portrayed in the book.

 I am taking my time enjoying this wonderful tale of Joy and Jack (the name his friends all called Lewis).  Initially Joy, a celebrated author and poet herself, wrote to Lewis seeking spiritual advice during trying times in her life and troubled marriage.  They continued their correspondence and eventually Joy was able to meet him in person when she took a sabbatical to England. Joy would have to cross the ocean back and forth again and deal with poverty and divorce before their romance would come to fruition, but it's clear why it has been called one of the greatest romances in modern times. I've been stretching out to savor it with TLTWATW so I'll report back once I finish.

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