Once Upon A Wardrobe: Patti Callahan *Review*

Once Upon A Wardrobe by Patti Callahan is on the left side of the image, on a white bookshelf. To the right of it, is a copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis with Asland and three of the Pevensie children on the cover.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Biographical Fiction | Release Date: 3 November 2021 | Standalone | Pages: 320 | Publisher: Harper Muse AU | Review

“There is a light, a bright lamppost light where all stories begin and end.”

Patti Callahan


Once Upon A Wardrobe is a wondrous, enchanting historical fiction by Patti Callahan. This exceptional tale, focused on a young boy’s need to know where Narnia came from, is both beautiful and delicate like a spider’s web in a frost. And before I go any further, I will advise that this book requires plenty of tissues. Or at least, it did for me!

This tale is set in December 1950, and George is only eight. He has a very bad heart, and finds comfort in books like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. But with a burning question – where did Narnia come from – and very little time, George asks his sister (Megs) to find C. S. Lewis at her university and ask him. This is the story of C. S. Lewis, in a way you have never experienced it before…

Happiness Boost:

Every single word and syllable is perfectly placed in Once Upon A Wardrobe. This story has the same magical feel to it as I always get when reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The prose is just exquisite, and the emotions I felt as I turned each page? So, so big. There are moments in Patti’s work, where I had tears literally streaming down my face. But I had no desire to stop them, because this is a book that makes you *feel*. And it would be a crime to bottle up emotions when reading it.

The facts of C. S. Lewis’ life are scattered throughout this beauty, with the full force of storytelling magic behind it. Patti shows you the rollercoaster of Lewis’ life, as well as his generosity, his fervour for myths and fairytales, and the palpable love and affection between Lewis and his brother, Warnie. But that is just one aspect of Once Upon A Wardrobe; the overwhelming love between George and Megs, and even with their parents, makes this story a must read.

I actually cannot tell you just how much of a happiness boost this book has given me. Words can’t convey enough love, joy and emotion for me to tell you just how incredible it is. But I have loved this story. And I will love it forever.

Once Upon A Wardrobe by Patti Callhan is being held up in my left hand, in front of most of my face. My green eyes are just above the book, with sunglasses perched on top of my head of short brown hair. I'm standing outside in a green yard, wearing a white cardigan.
Once Upon A Wardrobe is one of the best stories you will *ever* read. It’s just a fact.


Are you kidding me? This sweet, beautiful story is beyond any criticism. This is a book that I will read again and again for decades to come.

Final Thoughts:

Once Upon A Wardrobe by Patti Callahan wrapped my heart with love, sprinkled joyous glitter over me, and smoothed the rough edges of grief that I still experience in my own life. This, while not Aslan’s doing, was certainly inspired by that magnificent lion and his creator. And that’s very, very special. I was hesitant for a moment, when I spotted this book in Dymocks earlier this year. But thank goodness I picked it up. I will reread this book, and wholeheartedly love it, until the day I die. This is a must read for anyone who loves Narnia, and the enticing magic of a good story.

You can order via my Amazon link: Once Upon A Wardrobe

Eager to read a classic? You can order the book that inspired this one here: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

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