Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Book Review: A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken

A Severe MercyA Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was a worthy addition to my "Year of the Memoir" that I'm currently reading.

I enjoyed the story of Davy and Van, their love story, time at Oxford, conversion to Christianity, and her death and his grief.  It provided a complete foil to the grief of The Year of Magical Thinking by Didion, which I read earlier this year. 

There were many issues that Van worked through in his Christianity that were worthwhile to think on: joy and eternity being the ones that stand out to me.  His thinking on how Davy's death could be "A Severe Mercy" was inspiring to thinking the best of Christ.

There were places I found the book redundant - quoting from letters he had already quoted.  There were portions I found confusing and had to reread.  And there was something, something, that kept me from loving this book quite as much as others I know do.  I can't quite put my finger upon it.

Definitely a worthwhile read, though.  Would certainly recommend it.

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