Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story
by: Ken Tada, Joni Eareckson Tada and Larry Libby (contributor)
In the introduction to Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story, we’re reminded that not all love stories are as simple (or as impossible and solely emotional) as those in our favorite princess fairy tales. Marriages aren’t generally Disney romance stories. Even the best unions require work, commitment, and forgiveness, and this is particularly true of Ken and Joni Eareckson Tada’s.
Joni Eareckson Tada is the well-known author, speaker, artist and founder of Joni & Friends, an international ministry to the disabled. After a diving accident when she was a teenager, Joni became a quadriplegic. This book covers that part of Joni’s story briefly, mostly picking up the narrative with Joni in her 30′s, confined to her wheelchair, and feeling like marriage and love were impossible for her.
But then she meets Ken Tada, a high school teacher and football coach. The book covers their courtship briefly, their wedding day, and then the struggles post-marriage to give sacrificially and love unconditionally. It’s actually Joni’s breast cancer and Ken’s discovery of the book Wild At Heart that reignites their love for one another and helps them become the united couple and example of a strong marriage that they are today.
Their love story is truly exceptional and in a world where marriages dissolve simply through inattention and selfishness, this book becomes particularly relevant and inspirational. If this couple can find a way to make marriage work despite paralysis, cancer and other struggles, than surely we can make the commitment and effort in our own love stories.
The continual use of flashbacks in the book did make this a sometimes confusing read. The authors clearly note the date for each event, but still it made reading choppy, occasionally hard to follow, and the story unnecessarily confusing at times. The writing is also so much from Joni’s perspective It’d be fascinating to hear Ken’s thoughts in their courtship and the early days of their marriage.
Overall, though, the authenticity and vulnerability of the book draw us into this couple’s love story. Instead of hiding the hard days and the tough times, they tell us so that we can learn and have hope for our marriages and relationships.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”