*Dorothy and Jack by Gina Dalfonzo

An excellent introduction to the friendship between C. S. Lewis and Dorothy Sayers.

Dorothy and Jack by Gina Dalfonzo. Baker Books, 2020. 208 pages.

*Dorothy and Jack by Gina Dalfonzo

Reading Level: Young adult – Adult, Ages 15 and up

Recommended For: Ages 15 and up

The first time Douglas Gresham saw his stepfather, C. S. Lewis, cry was at the news of Dorothy Sayers death. Sayers and Lewis had been friends for over a decade. Their friendship, rooted in correspondence, began as each were becoming well known Christian apologists. Though the two seldom saw each other, they valued the other’s opinions, and their friendship deepened as they shared and discussed their work, faith, philosophy, mutual friends, and literature, all over letters. In time, normal life crept into their correspondence. Dorothy wrote about her chickens. Lewis told her, one of the very few friends he would first confide in, about his marriage to Joy Davidman.

Dalfonzo does an excellent, engaging job shedding light on this little known friendship. Drawing from letters and literary scholarship, she presents a fascinating glimpse of two friends set against a very different world. She also takes time to explain the worldviews and cultural mindsets influencing Sayers and Lewis, including some very distant to today’s readers. Dorothy and Jack will leave readers satisfied yet ready to go read more of each author’s work —not to mention wanting to read Sayers’ beloved Dante.

Consideration/Discussion Questions:

  • Charles Williams and his troubling affairs with younger women is mentioned —as mutual friends, both Lewis and Sayers struggled to reconcile the mounting evidence with the friend they revered —though not gratuitous, this section would constitute a sexuality consideration for a more sensitive reader.
  • As apologists, how did the two writers differ?
  • What made their friendship unique?

Note: This reviewer received an advance reader copy of the book in exchange for a fair review. 

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

  • Worldview/Moral Rating: 5 out of 5
  • Literary/Artistic Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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*Dorothy and Jack by Gina Dalfonzo

Hayley

Born in a library and raised by books, or rather, raised by a book-loving family, Hayley loves talking and writing about books. She lives in the middle of Wisconsin and works with children as well as with coffee.

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