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Book Review – Joni & Ken: an untold love story

May 1, 2013

ImageAs a man who lives with a permanent physical disability, I was most interested to read and review Joni & Ken: an untold love story (Zondervan, 2013), especially to see how they worked through the additional challenges that having a physical disability brings to both partners.

While the book included honest examples of the challenges each of them struggled with in terms of living with Joni’s quadriplegia, the manner in which their story was told was challenging to follow.  Stylistically it was neither a parallel biography or a sequential story. There were times when Larry Libby (the third partner in the authorship) provided commentary that seemed overspiritualized. The final chapters brought many of the issues they faced to resolution for both Joni & Ken, and yet the struggles seemed to be minimized by the writing style/sequence. This reader needed to regularly flip back pages to check dates in order to put together the progression of events/changes, and then to read a 3-4 paragraph summary of the three snippets from a span of 20 years seemed trite.

Indeed, Ken & Joni each worked through various challenges related to Joni’s disability, as well as her global ministry travels, and pointed to Christ’s great love throughout their journeys individual and as a couple. Their ability to reflect as an old married couple sitting on the deck of their home reflecting on their journey is insightful. While encouraging and challenging for any spouse to read, it was disappointing in its discussion of working through marital issues as they arise.

*This book was provided by Zondervan publishers through the BookSneeze program for the purpose of a blog review.

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