A grief observed

[A Grief Observed]
Year of publication: 
Moral assessment: 
Type: Literature
Nothing inappropriate.
Some morally inappropriate content.
Contains significant sections contrary to faith or morals.
Contains some lurid passages, or presents a general ideological framework that could confuse those without much Christian formation.
Contains several lurid passages, or presents an ideological framework that is contrary or foreign to Christian values.
Explicitly contradicts Catholic faith or morals, or is directed against the Church and its institutions.
Literary quality: 
Transmits values: 
Sexual content: 
Violent content: 
Vulgar or obscene language: 
Ideas that contradict Church teaching: 
The rating of the different categories comes from the opinion of Delibris' collaborators

In 1952, the American poet Helen Joy Davidson Gresham, a Catholic, divorced and communist, appeared in the life of the fifty-year-old Clive Staples Lewis, an Anglican, unmarried and eminent British man of letters, who was then teaching at Oxford. Helen had long felt a deep admiration for Lewis, whom she had previously known only through his works and a few letters. From their personal encounter came love, to which the now mature writer gave himself with enthusiasm. But the happiness was short-lived: Helen fell ill with cancer and died, leaving Lewis in pain.

This book is the fruit of that pain. C. S. Lewis reflects on his unhappiness, on the loss of his loved one, and confronts himself with God, with his apparent absence and with what seems to be his true nature. Emptiness, loneliness, impotence, memory, love, faith, hope, the search for a meaning to so much suffering, are the starting point of this intense and emotive book, which is a courageous confrontation with the most intimate and recondite of our feelings, of our self confronted with tragedy, with the apparent meaninglessness that governs the lives of human beings, with the enigmatic divine will and with the transcendence and redemptive power of love.

The reflections of this novel are part of the basis for the film "Land of Shadows" by Richard Attenborough starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger.

Author: Paolo Ganna, Italy
Update on: Jan 2024