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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


Book 25/100: The Vow by Kim & Krickett Carpenter

The Vow: The True Events that Inspired the Movie - Kim Carpenter

The Carpenters definitely have an inspiring story -- for those who haven't come across it already, the short version (and this book IS pretty short) is that two months after their marriage, Kim and Krickett were in a horrific car accident that left Krickett with brain damage. Although she remembered her childhood, etc., she did not remember anything from the last two years -- which meant she had no idea who her husband was. He wanted to stick with her and eventually ended up "wooing" her again and even remarrying her.

I haven't had a chance to track down a copy of the movie yet, so I can't compare the two, although I have a feeling the movie won't do justice to just how harrowing such an experience would be. Although the story is interesting, and despite Krickett being a frequent journaler, neither of them are great writers, so a lot of the story comes across in platitudes. I really wanted more details about the transition from Krickett's recovery to their new lives as a couple -- at what point did they feel that it was okay to have sex again? What made them decide to have children? What lasting impact did the brain damage have, if any? They mention that Krickett's personality was about "30% changed," but I wanted to know more about how. I can understand why some of the details would be left vague because this is such a personal story, but at the same time, I read for a sense of intimacy with the material.

I listened to the audiobook version, and I really wish that it would have been read by the authors. The Carpenters seem pretty down-to-earth in the interviews I've seen and heard of them, but the reader made the religious aspects of the story come across as particularly heavy-handed and preachy, whereas the Carpenters don't come across that way when they talk about their own faith. As I suspected, the movie leaves the faith element out, which they've come to terms with because it allows a wider audience to hear the story and possibly be brought to the book, and thus the faith that the Carpenters ultimately feel compelled to share. I do admire the fact that their faith was able to endure through such an upheaval, and I'm glad they've been able to make so much meaning out of their tragedy. It remains an inspiring story, even if the writing itself is less than inspirational.