THE VOW by Kim Carpenter


The True Events that Inspired the Movie
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A husband's vapid memoir about a car crash that left his wife unable to recognize him.

Never underestimate what a star-studded Hollywood movie can do for a poorly written book. Carpenter's account of the 1993 car crash that changed his family’s life was first published in 2000. The recent film retold the story with leads Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams. Unfortunately, the actual narrative leaves much to be desired. Carpenter's book opens with the author reminiscing about how he met his wife Krickitt over the telephone. One conversation with her was enough to make him feel like a “nervous, lovesick teenager.” Soon, Carpenter, who lived in New Mexico, was calling Krickitt, who lived in California, almost every day. After a brief Christian courtship, the two decided to marry. But their conjugal bliss was shattered when the newlyweds were involved in a collision that changed everything “in the blink of an eye.” Carpenter escaped with physical injuries that eventually healed, but Krickitt experienced brain trauma that changed her personality and took away all recollection of her husband and their shared past. Carpenter eventually won back his wife by helping her through a long rehabilitation process, but Krickitt never recovered any of her memories of their courtship and marriage. Despite the story’s inherent drama, Carpenter only skims the surface of the underlying emotional tension, and the amateurish writing (“It was as if she decided to be the friendliest, most helpful person her customers talked to every day. If that was the case then she was a roaring success in my mind”) and flat character portraits further hamstring the narrative.

A saccharine, thoroughly lackluster paean to the power of eternal love.

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4336-7579-9
Page count: 210pp
Publisher: Broadman & Holman
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2012


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