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Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (March 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310314690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310314691
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (406 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ken Tada recently retired from thirty-two years of teaching and has come on board with Joni and Friends to serve as Director of Ministry Development. He is also a member of the Board of Directors and in 2001 received Family Life Ministries Robertson McQuilkin Award honoring 'The Courageous Love of a Marriage Covenant Keeper.' Ken is an avid fly fisherman and helps to lead Wild Adventures, a fishing ministry for men.

Joni Eareckson Tada is founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, an organization that accelerates Christian outreach in the disability community. Joni and Friends provides practical support and spiritual help to special needs families worldwide, and equips thousands of churches in developing disability ministry. Joni is the author of numerous best-selling books, including When God Weeps, Diamonds in the Dust, A Lifetime of Wisdom, and A Step Further, winner of the Gold Medallion Award. Joni and her husband, Ken, have been married for over 30 years. For more information on Joni and Friends, visit SPANISH BIO: Joni Eareckson Tada es el fundadora del Centro Internacional de Discapacidad Joni y sus amigos, una organizacion con sede en California que promueve el alcance cristiano en la comunidad de discapacitados a nivel mundial ( En 1967, un accidente durante un salto de clavado dejo cuadriplegica a Joni, pero los anos no fueron desaprovechados. Su siempre profundo amor por la Palabra de Dios ha generado mas de treinta y cinco libros, incluyendo sus exitosos devocionales, Diamantes en el polvo y Mas precioso que la plata. Joni y su esposo, Ken, han estado casados durante veinticuatro anos y tienen su hogar en Calabasas, California.

Larry Libby is an author and editor who has written a number of books including Someday Heaven and Who Made God? He and his wife, Carol, live in Washington.

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Customer Reviews

It's good to know that even strong believers can have "off" days.
Jackie H
The chronology is not always linear, but it is well marked, so you can easily follow the time line if you are paying attention.
Mark Baker
This book is not only a love story of Joni and Ken Tada; it is a love story of God and us.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

210 of 226 people found the following review helpful By Debra VINE VOICE on January 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I am writing this, knowing full well that it will get people up in arms who don't understand that reviews are opinions and don't need to be agreed with. This is an honest review of my experience with the book and my honest opinion, and not in any way a commentary on anyone's personal choices or hardships.

I found the book disappointing and felt like at the end of the book the story was still untold. If you follow their lives then you may be able to fill in the blanks, but as someone who is basically 99% unfamiliar with any details (other than that Joni is a quadrapalegic that started Joni and Friends), the book did not stand alone. It doesn't give the unacquainted reader enough information to adequately feel what they felt, which is really the purpose of a memoir.

For example, the book really glosses over how they fell in love. There's a lot of detail about how Joni first noticed Ken, but not about what attracted Ken to Joni. What made him choose such a difficult path? At one point she even writes, "And what about sex? Is that the elephant in the room everyone is talking about? And would we be able to have children?" Those questions are never revisited.

I definitely do not want any details about what happens behind closed doors, but as the mother of two severely disabled children I was absolutely left with this big question mark about how they fell in love. Going into their marriage what was he thinking? What was he feeling? Obviously he didn't know what he was getting into (and how can you unless you've done hands on care taking like that?), but what did he understand? My husband and I didn't choose that path for ourselves, it was thrust upon us and for most people that's how it goes.
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73 of 77 people found the following review helpful By N. B. Kennedy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It took a lot of courage to write a book like this chronicling the inner workings of a marriage. I know I wouldn't want to put my relationships out there for everyone to critique!

This is the story of Joni Eareckson and Ken Tada's courtship and marriage. To those unfamiliar with the name, she is a Christian with celebrity status and a worldwide ministry. She is also a quadriplegic who in her 30s married Ken Tada, whom she met at church.

Ken might have been a little awed by Joni's celebrity status, but he seemed genuinely in love and willing to take on the challenge of caregiving. But as the years go by, both Joni and Ken become weary from the relentless grind of daily care, and for Joni, pain and helplessness. Joni has full-time nurses and aides, and for many years Ken retreats emotionally and physically from his wife and allows her entourage to take over much of the time. Who can blame him? Joni is painfully aware of how her needs have overwhelmed her husband and she tries to lessen the burden by disappearing on weekends shopping, spending time with friends -- anything to give Ken some space. Their marriage becomes arid.

Joni's diagnosis of cancer, and Ken's immersion in the book Wild at Heart, changes all that, in ways the couple could never have imagined. In fact, Joni considers her diagnosis a gift to her marriage! The book takes you on the couple's journey of spiritual discovery and marital healing.

I enjoyed much of the book, but was a little hampered by the meandering text. For example, the book starts with a scene at a restaurant, from the viewpoint of the elderly Italian owner, who is musing about the restaurants he has owned -- who is he?!?
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Trudie Barreras TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The best descriptor I can think of to apply to this wonderful little book is COMPLETELY AUTHENTIC. Often, I suspect, when firmly convinced believers are trying to witness to their faith, although they do not deny doubts and fears, they downplay their own dark moments. I think this is the result of a fear that those less experienced in the spiritual journey will be scandalized. I am reminded of the shock and chagrin that accompanied the publication of Mother Teresa's private reflections concerning her personal struggles with her lack of a sense of the presence and closeness of God. What the Tadas share, with the able assistance of their co-author Larry Libby, is a completely - at times painfully - truthful exposé of the real-time struggles that went into forging their extraordinarily blessed relationship. As must be true if we are speaking about human reality, these struggles were not only with the external complications and trials, but with the internal emotional and spiritual struggles with relationship challenges and a sense of God's lack of response to deep and heartfelt prayer. Anyone seeking "pie-in-the-sky" clichés need not bother with Joni and Ken's story, but those seeking genuine spiritual truth should be deeply moved and thoroughly blessed by reading it.

This book is a thoroughgoing testimony to the vital necessity that we as humans are NOT meant to undergo life's struggles and seek God's purpose in isolation. We NEED a community of love to keep us grounded and sustain our own efforts when they falter.
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