Monday, February 11, 2013

Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story

As a member of the Amazon Vine Group, I get to review 4 or more books and items each month. For a prolifica reader like myself this is a jackpot. even more so when a book comes my way that touches my heart and this one did. Here is my review that I posted on Amazon for Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story by Ken & Joni Eareckson Tada with Larry Libby.

I was only 12 years old when Joni had her accident. She dove into some water that was too shallow and broke her neck. Instantly she became a quadriplegic destined to live the rest of her life in a wheelchair with someone else taking care of all her physical needs. It would have been hard to grow up in any youth group in the late 60's early 70's without hearing about Joni, so it was refreshing to hear the latest on what is going on with this woman. At this point in time she is one of the longest surviving quads, which I am sure that Joni would lay at God's feet and those of her faithful caregivers over the years.

In her thirties, Joni meet a young man named Ken Tada and after much time together, prayer and discussion they took the step to get married. At this point you would think their marriage would somehow be `different' because of Joni's difficulties. Yet as I read this book I couldn't help but compare it to my marriage and others that I have seen. Marriage is hard work whether you are a quad, suffer from severe arthritis like I do, or happily have no health problems. It is so easy to drift apart or just be living in tandem, and forgetting why you married in the first place. As their marriage started getting stale, Ken had an opportunity to both read a book by John Eldredge Wild at Heart and also visit and talk with him. As Ken started understanding himself as a Godly man things started to change for the better with their marriage, but Joni was facing another health care crisis. She noticed a lump on her breast and at the point of diagnosis, it was already at stage 3 cancer. Within days of discovering it, Joni was taken into surgery where she had a mastectomy followed by chemotherapy. I can't even imagine the horror of the nausea when you can't even bend over and aim where the nausea would go or not even be able to wipe off your own mouth. And that would only be the least of dealing with cancer. Yet God was good and Ken with a renewed love for Joni was with her every step of the way.

As I said the story of their marriage really isn't so different than many of ours. They just found out what to do to rescue it from the doldrums and put God back in the center of it. This was a fantastic book to read and I also look forward to reading Wild at Heart as well.


I found it interesting after writing my review, I read some of the others that were posted and found that some writers felt like the book didn't tell the story well. For someone like me though, who 3 weeks after I got married to my husband came down with a devastating chronic disease that had been creeping up on me for years, but it exploded almost eleven years ago now I knew what they were talking about. We in many ways live through what Joni and Ken do so I didn't need the details for what Joni and Ken go through. I live it every day. I have learned that when we start feeling distant from each other, the best thing to do is pray about it and pray for God's blessings on your mate. I think it is enough that we know that even this woman, that so many look at as so spiritual, also has troubles with her marriage jsut like the rest of us do. It takes work and dedication to your marriage vows to keep a marriage on the same set of tracks instead of parallel ones. I did appreciate the book very much and have also put John Eldredge's books on my wish list. I hope you will read this book and be touched by it as well.