A Severe Mercy   -     By: Sheldon Vanauken
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A Severe Mercy

HarperOne / 1987 / Paperback

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Product Description

"No brief review can do justice to the human depth of this book. It invites us to explore a beautiful dollhouse of love and to witness the destruction of a relation too exquisite to last,"---Washington Post. Includes 18 letters from C.S. Lewis, ruminating on God and the reasons for human tragedy. 240 pages, softcover. HarperOne.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: HarperOne
Publication Date: 1987
Dimensions: 5 3/8 X 8 X 1/2 (inches)
ISBN: 0060688246
ISBN-13: 9780060688240

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Publisher's Description

Beloved, profoundly moving account of the author's marriage, the couple's search for faith and friendship with C. S. Lewis, and a spiritual strength that sustained Vanauken after his wife's untimely death.

Author Bio

Sheldon Vanauken (1914-1996) was the author of Gateway to Heaven, The Glittering Illusion, and Under the Mercy, the sequel to A Severe Mercy.

Editorial Reviews

“No brief review can do justice to the human depth of this book. It invites us to explore a beautiful dollhouse of love and to witness the destruction of a relation too exquisite to last.”
“Here is a book for anyone who has truly loved another person.”
“[A] deep, uncompromising story about human and divine love.”
“A towering and noble work in its own right, wrought by a real craftsman . ..”
“A gem of a book . . . delivers an extraordinary impact on the reader.”

Product Reviews

5 Stars Out Of 5
5 out of 5
5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.5 out Of 5
(4.5 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 7
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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Severe Mercy
    March 7, 2015
    Cookie Connie
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A Severe Mercy is probably the most beautifully written book I have ever read. I appreciate the honesty and vulnerability of the author and allowing the reader into his deepest thoughts, pain and love. I reread in many places and was touched very deeply. I know I will read in its entirety again within the next year or so. Highly recommended not only for couples but for singles who are searching to put Christ first in their life.
  2. Columbia, SC
    Age: 55-65
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    highly recommend it to newlyweds
    June 3, 2011
    Ann S
    Columbia, SC
    Age: 55-65
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    As one who has known the Lord Jesus as my Savior only 6 years, I am in the process of rereading this book to help me in my own marriage of nearly 38 years by being a reminder that Christ must be first and foremost central to the marriage to be an excellent one. This is a true story of a young, intellectual and fascinating couple married in the 1940s, the book written nearly 2 decades later by the husband, a contemporary and friend with CS Lews. And from the world's perspective the relationship between this man and woman appears to be the perfect marriage. They had an extraordinarily sacrificial, "best-friends," and deeply loving relationship where they shared ALL things and it was fun to read of their adventures together. And their relationship would have been an excellent marriage except they did not share the one thing that truly matters....faith in and a relationship with Christ Jesus. By God's grace, they do eventually come to faith, in part through the relationship and fascinating correspondence between the husband and CS Lewis which is published in this book and the relationship of other high-brow believers that the Lord placed in this couple's life. And while his wife continues in her deep love for the husband, yet he struggles to understand his wife's close relationship with Jesus, in part jealous that knowing God through Jesus has changed their relationship as husband and wife, Jesus having taken the central place in his wife's life. They had been equal partners in their marriage prior to this change and his wife quietly and prayerfully desired a Godly marriage where her husband would led, much of this the husband did not understand until after the wife's death while reading her journals. In the end the wife died at a young age from a prolonged illness, though loving and ministering to others including her dear husband to the very end showing the light of Christ within her. Her death was devastating to the husband who considered her the very breath he breathed, thus the severe part of the severe mercy. And it is merciful that the wife no longer had to struggle with her illness but instead be with her Lord, but more importantly it is merciful as the husband needed to make the Lord Jesus central in his own life. His wife had to be taken from him before he would see and seek the Lord as he should. Powerful testimony of a young couple coming to faith!
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    December 31, 2009
    Judith Schroeder
    This book was definitely one of my favorites - I had to buy it for my personal library. I'm sharing it with my best girlfriends.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    April 22, 2006
    A Severe Mercy is a beautiful love story about Van and his wife Jean, known as Davy. The book describes their becoming Christians, and how their love becomes grounded in Christ - but not without pain and suffering. You will not be able to put down this deeply moving book.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    June 10, 2002
    This is a wonderful book! I reread pages and whole chapters because the observations and prose were so powerful. A definite book to add to your christian collection.
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