Cover Image: Once Upon a Wardrobe

Once Upon a Wardrobe

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I am not sure what I expected when I opened this book. But I was pleasantly surprised that it pulled me so quickly. I fell in love with Megs and her brother, George. The interactions with C. S. Lewis and his brother, Warnie, were delightful. You will find yourself cheering Megs on as she works to provide the best gift she could possibly give her brother … the answer to where did Narnia come from.” You will shed a few tears as you journey through the pages and discover what happened once upon a wardrobe.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Muse for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

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You know that moment, Dear Readers, as you are engrossed in a book and suddenly realize that you have a smile on your face so long your cheeks hurt, with warmth in your heart, a lump in your throat, and tears pricking the corner of your eyes? 

That was my state of being as I made my way through ONCE UPON A WARDROBE by Patti Callahan—A beautiful and touching historical fiction story that opens in December of 1950 in Worcestershire, England, wherein we meet eight-year-old George Henry Devonshire and his seventeen-year-old sister, Margaret, or Megs, for short.

Unable to venture outdoors due to illness and explore the world around him, young George transports himself to Narnia in C.S. Lewis’ novel, THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE.

When George learns that the author of his favorite book is an English literature tutor at Magdalen, an all-male College near Somerville College, where his sister attends, George presses Megs to ask Lewis one question: “Where does Narnia come from?’ 

Rather than answering her question outright, Lewis tells Meg stories about his own life whilst relaying each story to George that opens with …

‘“Once upon a wardrobe, not very long ago . . .”’ 

‘“And not very far away,” he says.’

Highly Recommend!

Thank you, NetGalley and Harper Muse Publishing (HarperCollins Focus LLC), for providing me with an eBook of ONCE UPON A WARDROBE at the request of an honest review.
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Megs Devonshire is a lover of logic and math and has little time for stories. However, her little brother, George, loves them. When he reads The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, he wants to know where the story came from. He asks Megs to find out, so she seeks out C. S. Lewis at Oxford to find out. This is a sweet story about the love between siblings and where stories really come from. Patti Callahan really knows how to dive deep into characters and their relationships. I've seen where some have said this book is overly sentimental and I can see that, but I believe it's absolutely necessary in this book. This is one I'll definitely reread.
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This was a fantastic novel. The love that Megs has for her brother George is evident in everything she does. This story was beautifully written and made me cry (quite a few times) but this story is not sad it is hopeful and lovely and I am sorry it has taken me so long to read it. 

I enjoyed this book so much that I have already placed  a hold on Becoming Mrs. Lewis, if that book is half as good as this book I know I will thoroughly enjoy it as well.
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Say hello to one of the best books I have ever read in my life. I'm not kidding here. Once Upon a Wardrobe was absolute perfection and a book that will forever have a spot on my all-time favorites shelf. 

Not only is this book historical fiction at its very best on a technical level, I simply belie that Callahan did the best possible job handling and imagining the life of C.S. Lewis. I don't quite know how to explain it, besides that it feels like I time traveled as was transported right into the world of Lewis. And it was an absolutely wonderful experience, so atmospheric and immersive as the writing and storytelling was here. There is tragedy and yet so much hope wound into this stunning story, and at times I had tears streaming down my face. And oh, the characters here. Our main character is Meg, coming home from walking the same streets that Lewis once walked at Oxford, and asked by her younger brother George, a boy living with a terminal illness, to endeavor to find out the origins of Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I just loved the depth to Meg's character and how fully I experienced the story through her lens. I felt her emotions right alongside her. 

This is not a book one will soon forget, so rich it was in scope and meaning. I not only HIGHLY recommend this book to other fans of C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia, but anything looking to have their hearts and minds touched through the written word. Patti Callahan has written a true masterpiece!

Many thanks to HarperMuse and NetGalley for the gifted e-copy!
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Megs is a math and physics student at Oxford, commuting home as often as she can to see her eight-year-old brother who is very ill and can only travel through his books. When he learns the author of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is at Oxford he asks his sister to ask him a question: where did Narnia come from? This query leads Megs on a journey through the author’s life as he answers her with tales rather than facts and shows her the power of imagination and storytelling.

A beautiful book about love and family and the power of stories to change us. Really enjoyed the way the author wove together fiction and facts about C.S. Lewis. It’s a wonderful book for book lovers.
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A captivating read  that follows Megs Devonshire as she embarks on a quest to discover the answers to the questions of her terminally ill brother, George, about Narnia. 

A beautifully rendered novel that tenderly tells the story of a brother and sister as they discover the world created by C.S. Lewis as well as the about the inspirations that he drew from. I liked how the story flowed from Megs and George to Jack's years growing up, and how little pieces of his life made it into his stories and impacted his faith. This is a wonderful companion to Patti Callahan's other brilliant book about C.S. Lewis Becoming Mrs. Lewis, though this one is much different they compliment each other well. 

Overall, an excellent read. I loved they way that the book portrayed Jack and Warnie, and how the story was told by a story within a story. Hope filled and full of wonder, this beautiful book will stay with you after the last page is turned. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Heartwarming and magical.   The love of a sister for her brother is the center of this story.  And for eight year old (terminally ill) George, all he wants is to know how his favorite novel was created.  So his sister goes to the source, to C.S. Lewis.  From there, Megs Devonshire dives into the life and times of the author that penned “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” and brings her brother story after story trying to unravel the mystery behind the inspiration for his story.  It’s touching and beautifully written.  
I received a copy of this story from Netgalley to read and review.  All views are my own.
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Once Upon a Wardrobe tells the story of a dying boy who wanted to know how Narnia came to be. His sister Meg grants his wish by asking Mr. Lewis about his inspiration for Narnia. Through a series of stories, Mr. Lewis tells his life story for his inspiration. This novel is very tragic, heartbreaking, and emotional! I feel for Meg and her brother. They were the most poignant scenes of the novel. I also like learning more about C.S. Lewis and his he was inspired to create Narnia. The friendship between Meg and Mr. Lewis felt very real, and was one of the best parts in this novel. Therefore, this is a very moving and thought-provoking novel. The story is very well-written with lush descriptions. The characters are very likable and complex. I recommend this novel for Narnia fans!
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A couple of years ago did Patti Callahan write Becoming Mrs. Lewis, a love story about Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis. In Once Upon a Wardrobe does she return to the world of C. S. Lewis. However, this time it's a story about how Narnia came to be. About a small dying boy who wish to know where the inspiration for Narnia came from, and a sister who will do anything to grant his biggest wish. Even if it means taking the courage to approach and ask the author of the Narnia books. 

Once Upon a Wardrobe is a wonderful and sad book. It was a wonderful read and I recommend this book warmly. In this book, you get to know more about Jack (C. S. Lewis) and how he came to write the wonderful stories about Narnia.
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Fabulous book! A revision of the classic childhood books "Chronicles of Narnia". This is a story that focuses on a little boy who loves the Chronicles of Narnia and one sisters determination to make the little boys dream come true of listening to her stories she acquires of C.L Lewis. 

Megs has dreams and a life of collage at Oxford. However, when her brother George is diagnosed with not much longer to live. She finds it necessary to go home and help as a caretaker and companionship. When George's only wish is to find out where Narnia came from, She struggles with the decision to make his wish come through.

Megs decides it is best to seek the author of the Chronicles of Narnia Books and get the answers George searches for. However, she finds her self drawn to the stories and it becomes a reoccurring venture into the life of C.L Lewis and his brother.
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Oh, my. This book made me fall in love all over again with the creator of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I was a bit leery about reading it, knowing that it was historical fiction, but Patti Callahan did a stellar job of portraying C.S. Lewis and his brother, "Warnie" while telling the story of Megs Devonshire and her dying little brother, George, whose dying wish is to know "Where did Narnia come from?"

Margaret (Megs) Devonshire is 17 and has just entered her first term at Oxford University where she studies math and physics. Her analytical mind sees The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe as a children's fairy tale, not worth her time to read it. When her little brother, 8-year-old George, asks her to question the great C.S. Lewis, a professor at Oxford, about where Narnia comes from, she undertakes the challenge, knowing that this is all she can do for him. Invited into the great man's home, she begins asking her question. Instead of answering, he tells her stories from his life that she then shares with George. Could it be that Narnia, a place of imagination, is threaded throughout Lewis' life's stories? Megs thinks Lewis' stories are her gift to George, but really, they become a gift to her, of hope, and the resiliency of the human spirit she finds. 

I loved how Megs changed and grew throughout this book. She learned that stories, fables, fairy tales, have meaning and are important for understanding the world around her. She also finds the Aslan of the Wardrobe, the lion whose might comforts her brother as he lays in his bed, drawing pictures to illustrate the stories Megs tells from the life of the author, always with the lion roaring in the background.  In finding the lion, she also finds the God that Lewis found as an atheist at university, and the hope that runs through every one of his life's stories. 

Every person who has ever fallen in love with The Chronicles of Narnia, needs to read this story. Although it is fiction, Callahan's imaginings of the life of C.S. Lewis are taken from fact, and fleshed out through fiction. I loved it, and next on my list is Becoming Mrs. Lewis, also by Patti Callahan. Well done, and highly recommended!!
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I absolutely adored this book and the fictional tale of how CS Lewis came up with the stories. I loved the relationship between Meg and her brother. It also highlights how important stories are in our lives.
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A sweet historical fictional novel based on CS Lewis himself. I’m a huge fan of Lewis, so this was a super fun read for me. Anyone who is a fan of his will love interacting with him in these pages!!
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Thank you to NetGalley, Harper Muse, & HarperCollins for the opportunity to read and review this book before it's publication date! This in no way affected my review, opinions are my own.

I had a lot of trepidation going into this book, because I tend to get nervous when you have historical fiction novels with such huge plot points revolving around not only imagining real people from history, but also with speaking for them and imagining a deep enough understanding of that historical figure to know their motivations, beliefs, and desires - but I thought Patti Callahan did a fantastic job with this story and with imagining CS Lewis. 

I also really want to read The Chronicles of Narnia again now.
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I adore all of Patti Callahan's books, and this one did not disappoint. I loved learning about the C.S. Lewis' early life, and where his idea for Narnia came from.
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Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan was a treat to read!  As a lifelong fan of C.S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia, I was drawn in by the conversations that Megs had with Lewis and the stories that she shared with her brother.  Callahan is one of the few writers who never disappoints me whether she is writing historical fiction or Southern women’s fiction.
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Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan is about love, loss, and imagination.

Can Megs deliver on a promise that she made to her brother?

Megs Devonshire
Megs Devonshire is a seventeen-year-old girl who went to Cambridge's college at their girl's university back in 1950. She has a younger brother named George, who's eight years old, and he's also dying. George gave Megs a hard promise to deliver to him about finding out where Narnia came from. Megs is just a girl trying to help her brother even though she can't, and Megs is a lover of math, not fiction books, until she read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with her little brother. I like Megs because she doesn't stray from what she knows, and granted, yes, she tries to see everything as a mathematical equation instead of how a normal person sees things. Megs loves her little brother so much that she risks a lot of things to contact Mr. C.S. Lewis and take George on an adventure.

The Story
After being tasked by her little brother to talk to Mr. Lewis, Megs doesn't know what to expect from the professor until they meet up. She gets to know not only Mr. Lewis but Warnie, his brother, along with all of their adventures. Megs also gets to know a boy she wrote off as not even a potential friend when they first met earlier that year. She spends more time with him and sees that he isn't who she first thought he was. Mr. Lewis never really answers her or George's questions, but the three of them do become good friends.

Four Stars
Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan evokes many different emotions while I was reading this book. Ms. Callahan does a great job of transporting me to the wintertime of 1950s Cambridge. I felt so sad for the Devonshire family and everyone else that knew George. My rating for Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan is four stars and I'm recommending it to everyone. But especially for those that read Historical Romances, there is a bit of romance between everything else that is going on.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy from the author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Thank you for dropping by! I hope you enjoyed this review of Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan.

Until the next time,
Karen the Baroness

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Where did Narnia come from?  I'd never considered that, but in this hopeful novel, it's what the main character's brother, who is dying, wants to know.  And so she seeks out Jack, better known as C.S. Lewis.  Using a fictional character to interact with the very real writer works well; readers will learn pieces of Jack's life as he shares them with Megs.  This is a good comfort read.
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Such an interesting plot in this book! I always love Patti Callahan's writing and this one was no exception.  I loved the sweet relationship between Megs and her little brother, George.  I also really enjoyed getting to know a bit more about CS Lewis and his brother Jack.  Will read anything Callahan writes!
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