A Severe Mercy
by Sheldon Vanauken
1977, 238 pp.
National Book Award Winner
This memoir is a book about life, marriage, friendship, and faith. Vanauken tells the story of how he and his wife's relationship changed from an intense, romantic love to one controlled by their Christian beliefs. That is not to say that their love wasn't intense or romantic after their conversion, but it did change significantly. He also details his wife's illness, death, and his own grief process afterwards.
Most interesting to me were the letters exchanged between the Vanaukens (mostly Sheldon) and C.S. Lewis. The couple met Lewis while at Oxford and kept up a healthy correspondence with him after they moved back to the States. Lewis is my favorite author, so it was interesting to hear his viewpoints on a much more personal level. These exchanges were my favorite parts of the book.