A Severe Mercy by Sheldon VanaukenA Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken

A Severe Mercy

bySheldon Vanauken

Paperback | May 26, 2009

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A heart-rending love story described by its author as “the spiritual autobiography of a love rather than of the lovers” about the author’s marriage and search for faith.


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.

A 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. 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.

Sheldon Vanauken (1914-1996) was the author of Gateway to Heaven, The Glittering Illusion, and Under the Mercy, the sequel to A Severe Mercy.
Title:A Severe MercyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.54 inPublished:May 26, 2009Publisher:HarperCollins

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060688246

ISBN - 13:9780060688240

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Severe Mercy An interesting story of an interesting journey
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great read. I love the honesty and vulnerablity that the author showed in his writing. Although I don't agree with everything that was said, I appreciate the author's literary skills
Date published: 2015-08-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Difficult to Put Down...Impossible to Forget This is the story of Sheldon Vanauken and his wife Davy and tells of both their brief marriage, their spiritual awakening, Davy's illness and death. It is a man's heart felt attempt to find meaning in a death that came far too soon. It is impossible to read the book and remain dry-eyed so deep is the pain that Vanauken conveys. The couple formed a friendship with C.S. Lewis while at Oxford and his letters to Vanauken form a bonus for C.S. Lewis fans.
Date published: 2000-08-18

From Our Editors

This acclaimed story traces the idyllic marriage of Sheldon and Jean Vanauken, their search for faith, their friendship with C.S. Lewis and the tragedy of untimely death and love lost. It includes 18 letters by C.S. Lewis. A winner of the National Religious Book Award and the Gold Medallion Award.

Editorial Reviews

“A gem of a book . . . delivers an extraordinary impact on the reader.”