Once Upon A Wardrobe by Patti Callahan

Watch a beautiful trailer for Once Upon a Wardrobe: https://www.patticallahanhenry.com/once-upon-a-wardrobe

This link will take you to many videos of Oxford, The Kilns-C.S. Lewis’ home, and more: https://www.patticallahanhenry.com/videos-and-podcasts

The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab

“Once upon a wardrobe, not very long ago, and not far away” in the town of Oxford, England, Megs Devonshire followed the winding, icy path to The Kilns, the home of the famous author, C.S. Lewis. His newest book The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, was hugely popular, and her brother George was obsessed with the land of Narnia.  Megs was desperately hoping to find the courage to speak to Mr. Lewis and ask, “Where did Narnia come from?” Desperate because her 8-year-old brother, George, didn’t have long to live and he wanted to know. Megs, an introverted physics student ruled by logic and equations, not fairy tales, was boosted by her deep devotion and love for George. Mr. Lewis or Jack, and his older brother, Warnie, welcomed Megs into their common room with worn leather chairs, books piled high and a roaring fire and tea to warm her. Thus, Megs begins frequent visits to The Kilns and walks about the woods with Jack and Warnie as her questions lead to accounts of the death of his mother at age 9, the horrible Wynyard School, and his time in the army at The Somme -all told by the genius with wit; Jack wants Megs to just listen and take notes later. This quest to find the beginnings of Narnia will lead to much, much more-for readers, for George, and Megs.

As Megs returns to George’s sickbed to retell the stories shared by Jack and Warnie, George and readers are anxious for her to keep sharing. Megs is becoming quite a storyteller and readers realize that through stories one can see ‘reality from new angles.’ Megs is enthralled, becomes distracted from her exams, and finds herself in the Bodleian Library searching for Phantastes, a fantasy novel by Scottish writer George MacDonald, that Jack claims “baptized his imagination!” A lesson Megs learns from George is that all fairy tales have a bad part, a scary part-just as in real life. George is helping Megs to cope with his illness as much as she is helping him by sharing Jack’s stories.  Patti Callahan weaves history through Jack’s life stories so Megs finds out about Operation Pied Piper, when in 1939 children were brought to The Kilns from London to escape The Blitz. This novel shines a glowing lantern of compassion on Clive Sterling Lewis and his efforts to comfort the children with his stories and a home along with his deep empathy for their parents during this time of separation. (Children coming from London to live with a professor, sound familiar?)

The only gift George wishes for this Christmas 1950, is a trip to Ireland to visit Dunlace Castle. Will his wish be granted? Will he find out where Narnia came from? Come along on this “Grand Adventure” to find answers and see if you hear “the lion’s roar” as Patti Callahan unravels mysteries of the universe and the magic of hope in Once Upon A Wardrobe-an outpouring of love and enlightenment.

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