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The Vow | Kim Carpenter | Reviewed by Francesca

Each one of us is the sum total of every moment that we’ve ever experienced with all the people we’ve ever known.' - Kim Carpenter.

When a tragic car accident leaves Krickitt Carpenter with a serious brain injury just two months after her wedding to the love of her life, her new husband, Kim, thinks she's in the clear when she makes a miraculous recovery. Unfortunately for the Carpenters, this was only the beginning of their problems; Krickitt has amnesia, and, as a result of the accident, can't remember meeting, or marrying, Kim, leaving her isolated and scared, and Kim living with a woman who doesn't remember loving him. A true story, The Vow follows Kim and Krickitt as they attempt to recover both physically and mentally from the accident which they miraculously survived - the only question is, will their marriage be a fatality?

Generally, when a novel is turned into a movie, I point-blank refuse to watch the film before I read the book; I genuinely believe that, 99% of the time, the book is better, by miles (the 1% comprising of The Time Traveller's Wife, which was a serious let-down for me, in print...), but I was caught off guard by The Vow. It's not the kind of film I'd generally sit down to watch, and, whilst I was aware that a book existed, I didn't even know who it was by, much less considered reading it.
However, I found myself settling down to the Rachel McAdams/Channing Tatum flick a few weeks ago, and absolutely falling in love with the story; and then, as the credits rolled, all was revealed - The Vow was based on a true story - and was available in book form. A little digging soon revealed the author to be the husband from the story, whose wife had completely forgotten his existence. Of course, I had to order it, and had made it through the first three chapters on my Kindle that same evening.
I realise how promising the fact that I was 3 chapters in in such a short space of time sounds, but, unfortunately, this wasn't the case; I got through the book in record time, just because I wanted it to be over and done with. I've mentioned before, on Bloggers' Bookshelf, that I'm not a particularly religious person, and The Vow is, for the most part, an evangelical book; both Kim and Krickitt Carpenter are very devout Christians, and attribute much of the outcome of their story to their faith, which I can obviously appreciate, but in book form, the result is that we get very little actual story - few details or anecdotes about their lives before or after the event, and more conjecture on what Kim feels kept him and Krickitt going through her recovery.
Don't get me wrong, both the Carpenters' love for one another, their faith in their vows, and their faith in general, is very inspiring, but 'The Vow' doesn't feel like it does Kim and Krickitt's story much justice. The narrative is incohesive, and jumps forwards and backwards without much of an explanation, and the text feels stilted, forced, as though the author's having trouble expressing himself; understandable, considering the book is penned by Kim, but considering John Perry was also along to assist the writing, I can't help but feel slightly let down by the novel.


1/5 stars


This review was written by regular reviewer Francesca, get to know her here.
Photo © Francesca Sophia.

1 comment

  1. Yep, it's really unusual to like the movie more than the book. But I guess that happens sometimes! Too bad that the book was such a disappointment though...

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