A Severe Mercy

Sheldon Vanauken’s account of his 15 years with his wife is one of the more affecting books I’ve read. In A Severe Mercy, he chronicles their fall deeply into love, the building of that love over several years, their (initially reluctant) acceptance of the Christian faith several years after their marriage, and her eventual death by cancer. Along the way, they befriend C.S. Lewis, who proves instrumental in Sheldon’s acceptance of Christianity, since Lewis also came to the faith as a well-educated skeptic. Several of Lewis’ letters are included in the book and provide a touching glimpse of the friendship these men shared. Altogether a beautiful and touching work for its insights into love, faith, and friendship.