Surprised by Joy


This is C.S. Lewis’ revered author’s spiritual memoir, in which he recounts the story of his divine journey and eventual conversion to Christianity. Self-described as “the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England”, Lewis recounts his lifelong search for joy and joy’s role in guiding him to find God.

C. S. Lewis—the great British writer, scholar, lay theologian, broadcaster, Christian apologist, and bestselling author of Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Chronicles of Narnia, and many other beloved classics—takes readers on a spiritual journey through his early life and eventual embrace of the Christian faith. Lewis begins with his childhood in Belfast, surveys his boarding school years and his youthful atheism in England, reflects on his experience in World War I, and ends at Oxford. Readers will find freedom and a pathway to joy as most can identify with his journey.

Key Topics or Truths

Christian faith
Discovering God
Knowing God

This Book is Good For...

This book is great for everyone and especially good for folks who got saved at a young age in a structured church environment where experiencing God becomes more a function of serving and doing the right thing.

How I Use this Book to make disciples

This book is complete in content and inspiration. It needs little discussion. I have disciples read the entire book highlighting and making notes about what “hits” them and discuss their findings after the final week of reading. You many need to adjust the time to read based on the reading expertise of your group.

I do not lead or follow Surprised by Joy with a difficult read to prevent disciple burnout.

Though this was a difficult read for me, I love this book because it describes so many people’s spiritual journeys and sets before them a pathway to joy – enjoying their relationship with God.

Real Life Story

This book was a difficult read for Susan. She wasn’t the fastest reader but she found it a bit depressing at first. As she pushed through, chapter by chapter, she realized that part of the reason she was getting downcast was that she was not full of joy. As she embraced Lewis’ journey and his discoveries, Susan found freedom.

Know Issues or Controversies

No known issues

Share this post

Notify me of new posts

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
C.S. Lewis
Book Details
Reading Time
Three Weeks
Related Reads

This book pairs well with The Reflective Life.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

How to Make Disciples

Two Chapter Preview

How to Make Disciples

Choose your preview format...