A Grief Observed

A Grief Observed

Book - 1989
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"Written with love, humility, and faith, this brief but poignant volume was first published in 1961 and concerns the death of C.S. Lewis's wife, the American-born poet Joy Davidman. In her introduction to this new edition, Madeleine L'Engle writes: "I am grateful to Lewis for having the courage to yell, to doubt, to kick at God in angry violence. This is a part of a healthy grief which is not often encouraged. It is helpful indeed that C.S. Lewis, who has been such a successful apologist for Christianity, should have the courage to admit doubt about what he has so superbly proclaimed. It gives us permission to admit our own doubts, our own angers and anguishes, and to know that they are part of the soul's growth.""--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: San Francisco : HarperSanFrancisco, A Division of HarperCollinsPublishers, [1989]
Copyright Date: ©1961
©1989
ISBN: 9780060652739
006065273X
Branch Call Number: 242 LEWIS 1989
Characteristics: 89 pages ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: L'Engle, Madeleine

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Inga57
Nov 07, 2019

Audio listen
Writing to escape his Midnight Madness, C.S. Lewis does bring about timeless, universal emotions of grief. Some raising questions, others an absolute if you are a believer of the Christian faith, of which I am.

Douglas Gresham's soothing voice is perfect for A Grief Observed. I would have perhaps enjoyed the content more as an immersion read as there is much in the way worth remembering.

t
tjdickey
Jan 21, 2019

The indefinite article in the title is important here: the book deeply observes "a grief," rather than all grief. Lewis himself, in this journaling exercise upon the death of his wife, admits that too much of the text is about himself, and less about his wife, and even less about God. But the ability to walk the path of pain with this powerful mind is very instructive. We can observe with him the subtle shift from grief as fear, to grief as suspense; from grief as a door slammed in his face by God to a different kind of silence full of God's wordless compassion.

r
ReidCooper
Oct 17, 2012

Even if you don't like C.S. Lewis's writings in general, I think most readers will get a lot out of this book. To me, this is a must-read, whatever your personal beliefs.

unbalancedbutfair Apr 23, 2012

If you think you know. If you think you have the answers read this book and have a taste of your ignorance.

I've read a lot of C.S. Lewis's work. No really. I've read his autobiography, collections of his essays (some manuscripts that were missing pages), his fiction, and many of his non-fiction works. His non-fiction is methodical, clear, and striking. He clearly shows why he believes what he does in those works.

But this work is different. This work was written after he had made those eloquent and cogent defenses of his faith. This work is the story of how his faith is all but destroyed, intellectual arguments notwithstanding. These are his journal entries after losing his wife, a loss I cannot fully comprehend. And in completely honest words he bares his soul. He feels the inadequacy of the intellectual answers. He mourns and questions in utter agony.

If you feel abandoned by God, read this book to commune with a fellow sufferer. If you feel you know the answers and your faith is unshakable, read this and see one of the great minds of the last century shook to his core. There are no easy answers here. And this heartrending account is well worth the read.

l
laurenmartineau
Apr 14, 2011

Powerful book on grief.

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