Reviewed by Susan E. Richardson
Most of us have known Joni Eareckson Tada’s basic story. Her books Joni and A Step Further told of her struggles to adapt to life as a quadriplegic after breaking her neck in a diving accident. Many have seen her amazing paintings, accomplished by holding a paintbrush in her mouth, or read one of her devotional books. Others may know her as an advocate for those with disabilities. But until Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story we have known little about her marriage.
The book goes far beyond “how we fell in love.” The publisher could have subtitled the book “An Honestly Told Love Story” as it chronicles both the highs and lows of Ken and Joni Tada’s marriage. Quadriplegia provided enough challenges without adding chronic pain and breast cancer later.
Readers see both Ken’s and Joni’s point of view, and therefore their personal struggles at various points. For a teacher and coach like Ken, simply going with Joni on her speaking tours was a revelation. As time passed and other trials came, he began understanding what it means for a husband to be a warrior and fight spiritual battles for his wife.
Readers who are simply interested in hearing more about Joni will enjoy this book. However, it offers more than a good story. Readers can glean spiritual tips about standing firm through trials and allowing God to work through pain. Men will gain a clearer picture of what a warrior-servant looks like in daily life.
Susan E. Richardson is a writer, critique reader, and former Christian retailer with a passion for meeting people’s needs through the written word. You can reach her through her website, www.nextlevelcritiques.com.