Sunday, January 16, 2022

Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan


This story will be enjoyed by those who loved C.S. Lewis' books about Narnia and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.  As someone who hasn't read those books in decades I realized you didn't need the background to be entertained by this narrative.

The story begins in 1950, location Worcester and Oxford England. Young George Devonshire is a frail little boy with a heart condition.  He is completely besotted with Lewis' book The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and wants desperately to know if Narnia is real.  He will occassionaly climb into the wardrobe in his room and sit, imaging the world outside and a life he'll never have chance to know.

His older sister Megs is a mathmatics and physics student in Oxford and doesn't think beyond mathmatical probabilities - it's either right or wrong. Fantasy and imagination never cross her mind with any serious thought.  

One thing for sure, Megs loves her little brother very much and rushes home from college to be with him each weekend and break. As she is reading to him one day George asks if she will approach Mr. Lewis and ask where the stories about Narnia came from.  Is it real? Where did the inspiration come from? Megs has been to a lecture of Mr. Lewis but is reluctant to approach him with this request.  Loving George so much she risks it as it's his dying wish.  From there - what a wonderful story this becomes.  

Megs is invited into the home called The Kilns, the residence of Warnie and Jack Lewis. (Jack is C.S. Lewis) and the story unfolds from there.  It's a nesting doll of stories

There is saddness in this story but it's also wonderfully rich with details aout Lewis' life from boyhood to present. Adventure seen through a child's eyes and some very imaginative adults.

I want to thank Katherine at I Wish I Lived in a Library for recommending this book.  It was one her favorites from 2021

Sharing with:
Joy's Book Blog for British Isles Friday
The Intrepid Reader for the 2022 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge


  1. I don't read books like this very often, but I think I would enjoy it if I gave it a try.

  2. Oh I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I was afraid the sick child would get me but it was handled with such hope that it didn't hit me too hard. This is one that I can see rereading.

  3. I have heard a lot of good things about this author!

  4. That sounds like a charming book -- thanks!


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