Book Reviews of A Severe Mercy

A Severe Mercy
A Severe Mercy
Author: Sheldon Vanauken
ISBN-13: 9780060688240
ISBN-10: 0060688246
Publication Date: 7/29/1987
Pages: 240
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 26 ratings
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

12 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed A Severe Mercy on
Helpful Score: 1
One of the best books I've ever read---only giving it up becuase I have two copies! It's the perfect blend of apologetics and discovery of the Christian faith, and a beautiful (true!) love story. It is one you cannot put down if you are a thinker and/or a passionate lover.
reviewed A Severe Mercy on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very interesting biography. The author's "claim-to-fame" is his friendship with C.S. Lewis, who is very influential in his conversion to Christianity. The book is very well written and tells of the love story between the author and his wife, how they become Christians, and how that effects their relationship.
reviewed A Severe Mercy on + 13 more book reviews
A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken, is a heart-rending love story described by its author as "the spiritual autobiography of a love rather than of the lovers." Vanauken chronicles the birth of a powerful pagan love borne out of the relationship he shares with his wife, Davy, and describes the growth of their relationship and the dreams that they share. As a symbol of their love, they name their dream schooner the Grey Goose, "for the grey goose, if its mate is killed flies on alone and never takes another."

While studying at Oxford, Sheldon and Davy develop a friendship with C.S. Lewis, under whose influence and with much intellectual scrutiny they accept the Christian doctrine. As their devotion to God intensifies, Sheldon realizes that he is no longer Davy's primary love--God is. Within this discovery begins a brewing jealousy.

Shortly after, Davy acquires a fatal illness. After her death Sheldon embarks on an intense experience of grief, "to find the meaning of it, taste the whole of it ... to learn from sorrow whatever it had to teach." Through painstaking reveries, he comes to discover the meaning of "a mercy as severe as death, a severity as merciful as love." He learns that her death "had these results: It brought me as nothing else could do to know and end my jealously of God. It saved her faith from assault. ...And it saved our love from perishing."

Replete with 18 letters from C.S. Lewis, A Severe Mercy addresses some of the universal questions that surround faith--the existence of God and the reasons behind tragedy. --Jacque Holthusen
reviewed A Severe Mercy on + 66 more book reviews
very good
reviewed A Severe Mercy on + 353 more book reviews
what amazing love this couple had. What thought went into what they both wanted before they made a commitment to each other. And what a commitment! And then to find God together, and grow in his amazing love. A wonderful thought provoking read.
reviewed A Severe Mercy on + 3352 more book reviews
Published 1977. A Christian classic. When you face the Lord's severe mercy this book becomes very real.
reviewed A Severe Mercy on + 37 more book reviews
Gold Medallion Book Award Winner

All the romance, hope, and faith of a perfect love made eternal glimmers in A Severe Mercy.(Taken from the cover)

Includes 18 previously unpublished letters by C.S. Lewis to the author
reviewed A Severe Mercy on
This has to be the most incredible book I have ever read! It give you so much to think about regarding God's true sovereignty and his purpose for all of our lives.
reviewed A Severe Mercy on + 55 more book reviews
For C.S. Lewis fan this is great. A beautiful love story.
reviewed A Severe Mercy on + 16 more book reviews
Having recently lost a son in a motorcycle accident, I appreciated the author's honesty and openness in describing his grief. There were a lot of things in Sheldon and Davy's relationship that I didn't agree with, but the issues were dealt with later in the book.
reviewed A Severe Mercy on + 35 more book reviews
This book is by far one of my favorites. One of the few books that has ever made me cry. Excellent, all around!
reviewed A Severe Mercy on + 7 more book reviews
This is the Bantam edition, July 1979. It is in good, not excellent, condition. The edges of the pages are yellowed from the cheap paper than was used.