Marriage Mistake

Companion of I Don’t Trust You and Helping Hands (Twisting, Turning, Healing Journeys)

Christian - Romance - Contemporary
520 Pages
Reviewed on 06/02/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Marriage Mistake is a work of fiction in the romance, interpersonal drama, and Christian writing genres, and is part of the Twisting, Turning, Healing Journeys series as a companion novel to both I Don’t Trust You and Helping Hands. The work is best suited to the general adult reading audience. Penned by author Ken Saik, this new and emotive volume in the series delves into the complexities of two individuals committed to making their marriage work despite differing motivations. As they navigate their relationship, unresolved childhood experiences threaten their resolve, testing the strength of their commitment and the resilience of the human spirit.

Author Ken Saik has a talent for relationship dynamics that has helped him craft an emotionally resonant read that delved deep into the heart and soul of each character. I was certainly swept up in the realistic and tender portrayal of two individuals grappling with past traumas while striving to maintain their marriage. This was both poignant and thought-provoking thanks to the hard-hitting yet compassionate narrative tone. The characters' struggles felt authentic and relatable, drawing me into their journey of self-discovery and growth, and as the story unfolded with a solid pace for building upon different ideas and emotions, I found myself empathizing with their challenges and rooting for their success more and more. Saik's narrative skillfully explored themes of love, forgiveness, and resilience, offering insights into the complexities of human relationships that are never spoon-fed, but occur naturally as each challenging twist of the plot creates new obstacles to happiness. Marriage Mistake is a compelling addition to the Twisting, Turning, Healing Journeys series, showing the power of the heart to find healing in unexpected places.

Jennifer Ibiam

Jill and Joseph were married with two children and seemed in love. The couple were also Christians who lived in a conservative community where women were homemakers and deferred to their husbands. Jill struggled with acceptance among her church members and neighbors because she rejected such a way of life. She still suffered from the trauma her father inflicted on their family as a child. Jill also battled to balance the roles of a loving wife, an attentive mother, and furthering her education. However, Joseph supported and defended her at every turn. He found the dynamics of their home satisfying. But did he? When tongues wag, words hurt, and human nature unleashes self-preservation mode. Will their marriage escape the fire unscathed? Read Marriage Mistake by Ken Saik for more.

Marriage Mistake by Ken Saik is unlike any book I have ever read. It was wholesome, gripping, thought-provoking, and filled with teachable moments about marriage and parenting. I couldn’t put it down. Can women have it all? Where do we draw the line between being submissive and becoming doormats in marriage? What is our idea of submission? Should couples practice selfishness, manipulation, inconsideration, and mental gymnastics in the name of self-preservation? Should marriage help us soar or relegate our dreams and agency to the back burner? I have many questions, especially about religion’s role in marriage. This novel deserves some analysis at couples’ retreats. Joseph was my favorite character, a very patient and selfless man. Jill didn’t deserve him, but Joseph was a trooper to tolerate her machinations. Everything she did had a motive. They didn’t parent as a team. It was a competition for Jill, which annoyed me. Yet, I understood her mindset and the pain stemming from her childhood. I also noticed the difference between her neighborhood church and the United Church in Camrose, where Jill felt at peace. The quality of people, indeed, makes a church. Thank you for a beautiful book, Ken. I’d love to read the last installment.

Romuald Dzemo

Marriage Mistake by Ken Saik intricately weaves a tapestry of family dynamics, personal growth, and the delicate balance between individual aspirations and expectations as a couple. The book takes readers into the lives of Joseph and Jill, a couple facing the challenges of marriage, parenthood, and their Orthodox community in Camrose. The narrative unfolds with introspection and interpersonal dynamics, offering readers a glimpse into each character's innermost thoughts and struggles, from Joseph's internal conflict between career aspirations and familial responsibilities to Jill's journey of self-discovery amidst societal pressures. One believes in saving the marriage through strong will and commitment, while the other thinks love is all that is needed. But when childhood traumas and other challenges force them to re-evaluate their priorities and motivations, what will it take for the couple to save the relationship?

Ken Saik's nuanced portrayal of relationships, particularly the evolving dynamics between Joseph and Jill, is one powerful ingredient of this thoughtfully engaging tale. Saik deftly explores themes of communication, support, and compromise, highlighting the importance of empathy and understanding in sustaining a meaningful partnership. Additionally, the novel examines community life, shedding light on the tensions between individual autonomy and collective norms. Through Jill's pursuit of education and Joseph's efforts to handle societal expectations, Marriage Mistake offers a thought-provoking commentary on cultural identity and the quest for acceptance. Saik's prose is imbued with warmth and sensitivity, drawing readers into the characters' emotional landscapes with clarity. The novel evokes various emotions, from moments of joy and triumph to instances of grief and uncertainty. Ken Saik's masterful storytelling and rich character development make this novel captivating for readers who enjoy Christian literature and stories laden with insight and wisdom.

Lucinda E Clarke

This book was my second visit to the town of Camrose and the lives of Jill, Joseph, and their children. Author Ken Saik continues the saga in Marriage Mistake after the Kreshky family settles on a farm and spends time growing produce which is sold at the Thursday market. In time, they lose four children during pregnancy but successfully raise another four, Daniel, Amber, Sarah, and Matthew. Since Jill is homeschooling the children, they spend most of their time as a close-knit family. The biggest problem Jill has is that she is not accepted into the church where Joseph is a member. The other women are unfriendly and judgmental. They are particularly critical of her studying to pass the exams she never took at school. This is hard for Jill as her low self-esteem plunges even further due to her dysfunctional childhood. She persuades Joseph to buy a house they can barely afford in town, where she will be surrounded by her friends, a family member, and a more welcoming church group. The move has a huge effect on all the children and Joseph gives up his love of farming to work for a local contractor. Things go from bad to worse.

Like all good authors, Ken Saik has you first supporting one character and then another. I found Joseph to be an attentive, family-orientated father almost to the point of being a helicopter parent. He never stops working and I had to admire his energy levels. On the other hand, I felt sorry for Jill as she works so hard at her belated education while fending off the cruel jibes from the so-called Christian ladies at their local church, and the men are no less judgmental. Saik digs deeply into the human psyche, giving us both sides to every problem and, while I feverishly continued turning the pages, I vacillated between one view or another. The narrative highlights the lack of vision from different points of view, the hypocrisy in churchgoing communities, and the human condition. I was also taken into a rural world where tertiary education was not even considered, but age-old skills in building, carpentry, farming, and local commerce were goals for earning a living and the joys of large families were the ultimate achievement. I shall look out for the third book in the series, and I do recommend this series. A well-deserved five stars.

Doreen Chombu

Marriage Mistake by Ken Saik is a continuation of the story that began with I Don't Trust You, exploring the complexities of Jill and Joseph's relationship as they navigate the challenges of their marriage. Despite their differing motivations, they are committed to making their relationship work, but unresolved childhood experiences threaten to undermine their harmony. Jill's unresolved fears and insecurities stemming from her father's voice still haunt her, causing her to doubt her ability to be a good parent and leading to feelings of self-doubt. Meanwhile, Joseph's growing frustration with Jill's selfish tendencies and increased awareness of her flaws erode their bond. As they change lifestyles, have more children, move to a different home, and become grandparents, they must confront their individual needs and desires, all while making sacrifices for each other and their children. Will they be able to maintain a strong bond, or will the challenges of parenthood, career changes, and growing older ultimately take a toll on their relationship?

Marriage Mistake is the second book in the Twisting, Turning, Healing Journeys by Ken Saik, and it truly surprised me. The gripping narration and complex dissection of Jill and Joseph’s relationship were well done, making the story feel real and educational. The portrayal of the marriage highlights the devastating impact of lack of communication on relationships. Despite their good intentions and loving natures, the couple's inability to openly discuss their feelings and desires ultimately causes turmoil in their marriage. The story serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of effective communication in maintaining a healthy and strong relationship, making this a relatable and impactful read for anyone who has experienced the consequences of poor communication in their own life. The gradual unraveling of their relationship is perfectly captured in the author’s writing, which is engaging and thought-provoking. Jill and Joseph’s journey has not ended; they still have more hurdles to jump over. Overall, I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it for the profound relationship and life lessons it offers.