Patti Callahan Henry
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About Patti Callahan Henry
Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling novelist of fifteen novels, including the historical fiction (writing as Patti Callahan) BECOMING MRS. LEWIS—The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis. In addition, she is the recipient of The Christy Award—A 2019 Winner "Book of the Year.” ; The Harper Lee Distinguished Writer of the Year for 2020 and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year for 2019, and the RNA UK finalist for Romantic Historical Fiction.
Her newest novel SURVIVING SAVANNAH will be released on March 9, 2021 by Penguin Random House/Berkley Publishing.
She is also the co-founder of the Facebook weekly show Friends and Fiction.
The author is also the host of the popular seven-part original "Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis Podcast Series" launched, October 2019. The podcast audiobook collection including bonus material was released January 2020, and available now. The new expanded Becoming Mrs. Lewis paperback edition was released March 2020, and available now.
On March 9, 2021, SURVIVING SAVANNAH—a new historical fiction novel based on the true story of the Steamship Pulaski wreck will be released and available for pre-order now.
THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER (writing as Patti Callahan Henry—Southern Contemporary Fiction) was launched in June 2019, and THE PERFECT LOVE SONG—A Christmas Holiday novella released October 2019.
Patti Callahan is the co-host and co-creator of the popular weekly Friends and Fiction Facebook Live Show and podcast, featuring the five bestselling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Kristy Woodson Harvey, Kristin Harmel, and Mary Alice Monroe with endless stories, special guests, and a way to connect readers and writers.
A full-time author and mother of three children, she now resides in both Mountain Brook, Alabama, and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.
Growing up in Philadelphia as the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, Patti learned early the value of storytelling. At the age of twelve, her family moved to South Florida where Patti found the sanctuary of libraries and began her slow but steady journey into understanding the power of story to navigate confusing times in life.
Patti attended Auburn University for her undergraduate work, and Georgia State University for her graduate degree. Once a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, she now writes full time. The mother of three children, she now lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.
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Titles By Patti Callahan Henry
--Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Four Winds
"[An] enthralling and emotional tale...A story about strength and fate."--Woman's World
“An epic novel that explores the metal of human spirit in crisis. It is an expertly told, fascinating story that runs fathoms deep on multiple levels.”—New York Journal of Books
It was called "The Titanic of the South." The luxury steamship sank in 1838 with Savannah's elite on board; through time, their fates were forgotten--until the wreck was found, and now their story is finally being told in this breathtaking novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis.
When Savannah history professor Everly Winthrop is asked to guest-curate a new museum collection focusing on artifacts recovered from the steamship Pulaski, she's shocked. The ship sank after a boiler explosion in 1838, and the wreckage was just discovered, 180 years later. Everly can't resist the opportunity to try to solve some of the mysteries and myths surrounding the devastating night of its sinking.
Everly's research leads her to the astounding history of a family of eleven who boarded the Pulaski together, and the extraordinary stories of two women from this family: a known survivor, Augusta Longstreet, and her niece, Lilly Forsyth, who was never found, along with her child. These aristocratic women were part of Savannah's society, but when the ship exploded, each was faced with difficult and heartbreaking decisions. This is a moving and powerful exploration of what women will do to endure in the face of tragedy, the role fate plays, and the myriad ways we survive the surviving.
Megs Devonshire sets out to fulfill her younger brother George's last wish by uncovering the truth behind his favorite story. The answer provides hope and healing and a magical journey for anyone whose life has ever been changed by a book.
1950: Margaret Devonshire (Megs) is a seventeen-year-old student of mathematics and physics at Oxford University. When her beloved eight-year-old brother asks Megs if Narnia is real, logical Megs tells him it’s just a book for children, and certainly not true. Homebound due to his illness, and remaining fixated on his favorite books, George presses her to ask the author of the recently released novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe a question: “Where did Narnia come from?”
Despite her fear about approaching the famous author, who is a professor at her school, Megs soon finds herself taking tea with C.S. Lewis and his own brother Warnie, begging them for answers.
Rather than directly telling her where Narnia came from, Lewis encourages Megs to form her own conclusion as he slowly tells her the little-known stories from his own life that led to his inspiration. As she takes these stories home to George, the little boy travels father in his imagination than he ever could in real life.
Lewis’s answers will reveal to Megs and her family many truths that science and math cannot, and the gift she thought she was giving to her brother—the story behind Narnia—turns out to be his gift to her, instead: hope.
- A captivating, standalone historical novel combining fact and fiction
- An emotional journey into the books and stories that make us who we are
- Includes discussion questions for book clubs
Now a USA TODAY and Publishers Weekly bestseller! Meet the brilliant writer, fiercely independent mother, and passionate woman who captured the heart of C.S. Lewis and inspired the books that still enchant and change us today.
When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford professor and the beloved writer of The Chronicles of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters.
Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, found a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.
In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.
At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.
Praise for Becoming Mrs. Lewis:
“Becoming Mrs. Lewis deftly explores the life and work of Joy Davidman, a bold and brilliant woman who is long overdue her time in the spotlight. Carefully researched. Beautifully written. Deeply romantic. Fiercely intelligent. It is both a meditation on marriage and a whopping grand adventure. Touching, tender, and triumphant, this is a love story for the ages.” —Ariel Lawhon, New York Times bestselling author of I Was Anastasia
“Patti Callahan Henry breathes wondrous fresh life into one of the greatest literary love stories of all time . . . The result is a deeply moving story about love and loss that is transformative and magical.” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan’s Tale
“It's novel. And it's a very good one. . . extraordinarily accurate. . . more accurate than most biographical essays that have been written about my mother.” —Douglas Gresham, son of Joy Davidman, wife of C.S. Lewis
This expanded edition includes:
- Map of Oxford
- Expanded discussion guide with 20+ questions for book clubs
- Timeline of Jack's and Joy's Lives
- Joy's (imagined) letter to Jack
- 10 Things You May Not Know About Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis's Love Story
- Behind-the-scenes essay: Oxford—The City
Bonny Blankenship’s most treasured memories are of idyllic summers spent in Watersend, South Carolina, with her best friend, Lainey McKay. Amid the sand dunes and oak trees draped with Spanish moss, they swam and wished for happy-ever-afters, then escaped to the local bookshop to read and whisper in the glorious cool silence. Until the night that changed everything, the night that Lainey’s mother disappeared.
Now, in her early fifties, Bonny is desperate to clear her head after a tragic mistake threatens her career as an emergency room doctor, and her marriage crumbles around her. With her troubled teenage daughter, Piper, in tow, she goes back to the beloved river house, where she is soon joined by Lainey and her two young children. During lazy summer days and magical nights, they reunite with bookshop owner Mimi, who is tangled with the past and its mysteries. As the three women cling to a fragile peace, buried secrets and long ago loves return like the tide.
READERS GUIDE INSIDE
Twenty-seven-year-old Kara Larson is bogged down in the stress of planning her elaborate wedding to a professional golfer. Still, to fulfill the requirements of the Palmetto Pointe Junior Society, she makes time in her busy schedule to visit an elderly woman at a nursing home facility. Soon she finds herself mesmerized by the singsong Irish lilt of ninety-six-year-old Maeve Mahoney as Maeve recounts the rambling story of her first love back in Ireland. Or, Kara begins to wonder, is she really retelling an ancient tale of myth and legend? Waiting for the story to unfold in bits and pieces, and trying to discern the underlying truth, Kara is drawn in—and driven to remember her own first love: childhood neighbor Jack Sullivan. Gradually she realizes that before she embarks on her new life, she must find out how her own story—with Jack—will end.
“About all the things that make us worthy as human beings—integrity, honesty, and living the life you are meant to live.…A triumph!”—Dorothea Benton Frank
“A passionate, unforgettable novel of self-discovery, regret, and the illuminating power of love.”—Mary Alice Monroe
On the coast of Alabama, there is a house cloaked in mystery, a place that reveals the truth and changes lives...
Ellie Calvin is caught in a dying marriage, and she knows this. With her beloved daughter away at college and a growing gap between her and her husband – between her reality and the woman she wants to be – she doesn't quite seem to fit into her own life.
But everything changes after her controlling mother, Lillian, passes away. Ellie's world turns upside down when she sees her ex-boyfriend, Hutch, at her mother's funeral and learns that he is in charge of a documentary that involved Lillian before her death. He wants answers to questions that Ellie's not sure she can face, until, in the painful midst of going through her mother's things, she discovers a hidden diary – and a window onto stories buried long ago.
As Ellie and Hutch start speaking for the first time in years, Ellie's closed heart slowly begins to open. Fighting their feelings, they set out together to dig into Lillian's history. Using both the diary and a trip to the Summer House, a mysterious and seductive bayside home, they gamble that they can work together and not fall in love again. But in piecing together a decades-old unrequited-love story, they just might uncover the secrets in their own hearts…
Meridy Dresden was once a free-spirited, fun-loving girl. All that changed when the boy she loved was killed in a tragic fire. Since then, she alone has carried the burden of a terrible secret. Now, years later, married to a wonderful man and mother of a teenage son, she is shocked to learn that a childhood friend is being blamed for that long-ago fire. Fearful but determined, Meridy returns to the South Carolina Lowcountry and summons the courage to make a decision that may destroy her well-ordered life, her family’s reputation, her contented marriage, and everything she’s worked so hard to protect…including her heart.
“Brilliant. Powerful. Magical. Do not miss this book.”—New York Times bestselling author Haywood Smith
Nine months after her father's death, Catherine Leary still hasn't fulfilled his last wish: that she scatter his ashes in the Seaboro River in South Carolina. The scene of a childhood tragedy that forced her family to move, Seaboro is the last place Catherine wants to see again. But on the evening of her thirtieth birthday, her father’s young colleague—whom she once dated—pays a visit...
Hoping to stop Forrest Anderson from exposing her family's secrets, she travels to her once-beloved Lowcountry town and embarks on a poignant trip into the past...a journey that might lead her into a new life of love, forgiveness, and self-discovery.
Ten years ago, Lena Donohue experienced a wedding-day betrayal so painful that she fled the small town of Watersend, South Carolina, and reinvented herself in New York City. Though now a freelance travel writer, the one place she rarely goes is home—until she learns of her dad’s failing health.
Returning to Watersend means seeing the sister she has avoided for a decade and the brother who runs the family’s Irish pub and has borne the burden of his sisters’ rift. While Alzheimer’s slowly steals their father’s memories, the siblings rush to preserve his life in stories and in photographs. As his secret past brings Lena’s own childhood into focus, it sends her on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.
Like most mothers, Amy Reynolds has anticipated the moment when her son brings home his first serious girlfriend. But she’s shocked to meet the girl’s father. Nick Lowry was the college boyfriend who captivated her heart and soul and then, without a word of explanation or warning, disappeared. She still wonders what took him away from her.
Amy’s marriage is satisfying, her teenage children thriving. She loves her beautifully restored home and her work teaching at the local college. She has long since buried her memories of Nick. But now that he is back in her life, she can’t help recalling the beach where they pledged their destinies together twenty years ago. She can’t help missing the young woman she was then, full of passion and promise. And she can’t help being tempted by the life she might have lived...might still live—even though making that choice would betray all she holds dear.
In the small seaside town of Palmetto Beach, the Sheffield sisters—responsible Riley, vivacious Maisy-Rose, and fun-loving Adelee—reunite to save the family's beach-community bookstore. But summer also marks the return of Mack Logan, whose choice of Maisy over Riley years ago destroyed the special closeness between the sisters...
Now Riley, a single mom, is hiding a shattering secret about their mother. Maisy, a California designer, still blames Riley for ruining her one true love. And Adalee resents the family's intrusion into her summer plans. All three will be forced to confront the conflicts that tore them apart and the bounds of love and loyalty that still draw them together...
As we like to say in the south,
"Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story."
Ella's life has been completely upended. She's young, beautiful, and deeply in love—until her husband dies in a tragic sailing accident while trying save her. Or so she'll have everyone believe. Screenwriter Hunter needs a hit, but crippling writers' block and a serious lack of motivation are getting him nowhere. He's on the look-out for a love story. It doesn't matter who it belongs to.
When Hunter and Ella meet in Watersend, South Carolina it feels like the perfect match, something close to fate. In Ella, Hunter finds the perfect love story, full of longing and sacrifice. It's the stuff of epic films. In Hunter, Ella finds possibility. It's an opportunity to live out a fantasy – the life she wishes she had because hers is too painful. And more real. Besides. what's a little white lie between strangers? But one lie leads to another, and soon Hunter and Ella find themselves caught in a web of deceit. As they try to untangle their lies and reclaim their own lives, they feel something stronger is keeping them together. And so they wonder: can two people come together for all the wrong reasons and still make it right?