By: Kim & Krickitt Carpenter
Subject Matter: Biography
The Vow was pretty much exactly what I expected it to be.
If you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t already know, The Vow the movie, starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, is about a young married couple who face a tragic accident in which the wife forgets she ever married her husband.
Of course, the movie is a highly sensationalized version of the “true events,” but who doesn’t want to be portrayed as Rachel McAdams, amirite?
The nuts and bolts of the movie are true enough. Kim and Krickitt Carpenter were newlyweds living in New Mexico. A car accident caused Krickitt to forget the past few years, including her courtship and subsequent marriage to Kim. The book deals with them trying to figure out how to maintain their vows while being married to a stranger.
I’ve seen the movie. A few times, actually. (Can you say girl crush?) And the most surprising thing about Kim and Krickitt’s struggle to me that this book revealed while the movie didn’t is the effects of Krickitt’s brain injury on her personality.
I watch enough Grey’s Anatomy and House to know that personality swings are often side effects of traumatic brain injuries. But I just hadn’t thought about just how difficult that would make this whole situation. I mean, think about it. You’ve already got to try to convince this woman that she is your wife and you do indeed love each other, but now she’s not even the same woman you fell in love with.
I think that was my biggest problem with this book. It’s all from Kim’s perspective. Yeah, I know it says it’s written by Kim and Krickitt. And true, there are snippets of Krickitt’s journal entries. But the book is written in the first-person perspective of Kim and Kim alone. I know that’s the intrigue of this story, the story of a man who wouldn’t give up his vows, but let’s give Krickitt a little credit here.
She kept a vow she couldn’t even remember making. She convinced herself to move into an apartment with a man she couldn’t remember to be his wife. That’s pretty intense.
It’s a great story. Hence the movie. But I’ve kind of heard it all before.
And this book, like almost every media-driven autobiography, isn’t the most well-written thing you’ll ever read. There’s tons of repetition, indirectness, and just bad writing.
But it’s not meant to be a first class literary production. It’s meant to be an inspirational, bizarre story, and that it certainly is.
Liked The Vow? Here are some more suggestions:
(for themes of forgotten love)
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
Isle of Dreams by Elizabeth Dawson
(for Christian autobiographies about accidents)
Heaven Is for Real by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent
90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper
Andersen’s Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen
Growing Up by Russell Baker