publication date: 2006
In Not Easily Broken, T.D. Jakes used a fictional story to give advice about marriage, love, and relationship problems – all with a Christian foundation.
In the book, Clarice and David’s marital problems were thrown in stark relief when Clarice was in a car accident that left Clarice homebound with a broken leg. Clarice’s incapacitating injury heightened the tension between her and her husband. David often felt unloved and unneeded and Clarice felt pressured to forsake her career to be a wife and mother. Neither took the time to communicate with or understand each other anymore.
Jakes did a great job of showing the little slights and snubs that can accumulate in a relationship and translate into resentment and apathy. For example, when David made dinner after coming home to his wife:
Dave thought about eating on the couch next to his wife, but he decided to sit at the kitchen counter instead. He was tired; he didn’t need the burden of [Clarice’s] silence to go with his supper.
Another example from Clarice’s perspective:
Sometimes, as [Clarice] watched TV on the couch and David rustled around in the kitchen or sat in his recliner and leafed through a magazine, she thought about saying something to him. She thought about stepping onto the shaky ground of her own uncertainties, of opening herself up to him for a discussion of what might be happening to their marriage and what might be done about it.
The book generally presented a picture of two regular people who didn’t know how to save their marriage. Sometimes, however, Jakes fell back on odd clichés or stereotypes. For example, two women who were competing for the same man accidentally ran into each other at a hair salon and proceeded to have a haircut duel, with each woman getting a more and more obnoxious haircut.
Jakes also relied heavily on Christian themes and bible scripture. That’s not really meaningful to me, but I also didn’t find it too obtrusive.
For some people, the bible verses and discussions of God as a pillar and a foundation would alienate and repulse. I personally didn’t find them too bad. And it isn’t often one finds a book about an everyday troubled marriage that isn’t also trying to tell a grandiose story about living in 19th century Russia or the tragedy of the American suburbs. For those and other reasons, I thought the book was:
4/6: worth reading