Book Description: This is the true love story of Joni and her husband of 30 years, Ken Tada. A love story showing what it truly means for a man and a woman to live in love ... in sickness and in health. Even the honeymoon wasn't easy. Did Ken realize what he was getting into when he proposed to Joni, a quadriplegic woman? As their marriage years moved on, Ken became increasingly overwhelmed by the never-ceasing demands of caring for Joni, who begins to experience chronic, extreme, nightmarish pain. Ken sinks into depression, and the couple finds themselves on parallel tracks in life, married and living under the same roof but drifting apart emotionally. But as they fight for their marriage and find their way through the mazes of depression and pain, they wrap their two lives around their rock---Jesus. During Ken's denial of Joni's diagnosis, and Joni's thoughts of how wonderful a quick exit to heaven would be, they experience a personal visitation with the savior you will never forget.
Review: I found this to be a great read. Easy to get absorbed in it and so well written that I could not put it down. It was like being let into a side of Joni that is hidden. I felt privileged to read this story. It was the first ebook that I made notes in and highlighted things. That says a lot since I was storming through this book rapidly. There were many things that made me cry and laugh. I enjoyed the frank honesty of their life together. So many things were precious like their meeting and how sweet Ken was during their dating and up to their wedding. He was more the unknown in this story and it made the man into a real person. I can honestly say that any disability makes a life interesting. I have thought a lot about pain and the changes that occur while married. There is no guarantee that the state of one's abilities will remain even young. It is more realistic to understand the in sickness and in health. I can empathize with the chronic pain and the cancer on top of it was a lot to wrestle with. I have often thought that the church has lost her understanding of suffering. To me this has been a struggle and found the resounding theme to be that of the Bible with life there is suffering. I am so appreciative to have the privilege to read and review this book. As the beginning promised this is the real love that is lost today. Not easy and not neatly packaged but definitely a love story of all time.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
An athletic seventeen-year-old girl broke her neck while diving, changing her life forever. Over thirty years later, she still lives in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the neck down. She has also traveled throughout the US and the world advocating for the disabled. Few of us haven't heard of Joni Earekson Tada, singer, writer, and artist who does oil paintings by holding the brush in her teeth.
Ken Tada is the amazing man she found, married, and has loved for thirty years. When he married her, he knew there would be challenges. But he discovered the extent of those challenges on their wedding night. They had periods of near-estrangement as he struggled through the inescapable dailiness of it all.
Ken became depressed. Then Joni's physical disabilities increased. She went from no feeling in her body, to terrible pain, breast cancer, and pneumonia.
The Lord took them through the turbulence to a place of deeper-than-ever love for each other and Him. There is a cute set of pictures on the back flap of the two of them laughing together.
The authors of Joni&Ken tell the story in personal narrative, leading the reader into the action as though walking along with them. Neither Joni nor Ken are perfect, though talented and spiritually sensitive. What might be too depressing to read, becomes a journey with two nice people whom we like.
To make God into a personal friend that binds two people together against great odds is a goal that all couples should have. I cried reading the book because their love for each other through knowing God so intimately really touched me. I don't cry that easily.