Saturday, April 20, 2013

Book Review: Joni & Ken

When my sister and I were girls, sharing a bedroom and a bunk bed, I remember my mom reading us aloud Joni by Joni Eareckson Tada.  It entered us into a "Joni craze" and we went onto read subsequent books, have a casette tape of her music and were fascinated by the artwork she did holding a paintbrush in her teeth.  That being said, when I had an opportunity to review Joni & Ken An Untold Love Story I jumped at it.

 I read those first few chapters, dealing with her cancer diagnosis with a huge lump in my throat.  I remember hearing about her breast cancer diagnosis and thinking "Wow.  As if being a quadriplegic wasn't enough of a trial . . ."  The book details it this way:

"Suddenly, it crashed in on her.  All of it.  The cancer.  The surgery.  The cancer-and-surgery-on-top-of endless-pain-on-top-of-paralysis.  The exhaustion.  The loss of her breast.  Going back to the hospital.  A port in her chest--for poison.  Losing her hair.  Death, somewhere back there in the shadows.  She collapsed into convulsive sobbing, weeping for all the losses and pain and disappointments here and now and long, long ago.  The unshed tears of departed years."

The book then slips back in time detailing aspects of Ken and Joni's marriage and just how hard it was, two people married and yet existing separately, and how cancer and all its ugly awfulness was a gift that brought them closer then they ever imagined.  Living in the throw-away culture that we do, this story is a REAL LOVE STORY.  It's about faithfulness and servanthood and doing the best for the other when life isn't looking exactly like you thought it would.  I think this book would encourage any marriage--a young marriage or an old one, a happy one or a struggling one.  The situations that Ken and Joni have faced definitely put your own little problems and scuffles in perspective.  I finished the book amazed once again at God's sovereignty.  I can't imagine going through everything that Joni has in her lifetime and then I look at how God has used her in such mighty ways.  I think the words to this song by Laura Story say it best--
"Cause what if  your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?"
I finished the book thankful for a God who is in all the details of our lives, working it all together for our good.

(Disclaimer--I received a free copy of this book through Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review or compensated in any other manner.  All opinions expressed are my own)


Anna said...

Looks good! Thanks for the review. :)

Kathryn said...

Ooooh....can I borrow? I just heard Joni talking on Revive Our Hearts.

Brooke said...

I read about Joni as a young girl too! (Could've been you who recommended it to me...) Definitely going to check out this new one.