Where books are chronicled from beginning to end, and never stop being read.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Nightmarriage by Chad Thomas Johnston
The cover and title of Nightmarriage, by Chad Thomas Johnston, belies the delightful narrative contained within. Though there is a heart in the center of it all, the knives, ax and even the title itself, did give this reader a misleading image akin to a horror-laden story of despair.

That said, upon reading the first few pages, I was imbued with a entirely pleasant, autobiographical tale of the author and his wife, Becki.

Their meeting, courtship, and confusion of a long distance relationship is heartwarming. In recent years, especially with the advent of social media and great leaps in technology, the fundamental ideas of courting and romance have inevitably been changed.

"I began babbling to my friends at church and in my department at school about this woman who lived in Wisconsin. They looked at me as if to say, 'Everyone knows long-distance relationships are doomed to end up in the dating dustbin...' ...While I had attempted to date a few women in Lawrence... none of them were bumblebees in black stockings."

Johnston's recounting of the moments of dating and marriage are ensconced within a humorous voice that is both cleverly unique and earnest.

"I find it fishy, for example, that Becki remembers an eight-syllable word like trimethylaminuria, but forgets where she placed her purse. With the passage of time, I may have developed a hypothesis that may account for Becki's behavior: Maybe-just maybe-my wife is a black hole, incarnate."

There is something quite magnetic in Johnston's entire narration of the early years of marriage and parenthood. It is most certainly not easy to display one's life under a microscope for the world to see, yet each reader will be struck by the stark honesty in Johnston's writing.

Pictures, photographs of art, are distributed strategically before certain chapters, delineating a visual motif for the chapters they precede. Though they are engaging, I do not believe that they enhance the actual writing of this author or the book itself. As a matter of fact, I would have preferred reading the book without pictures and enjoying the art at the end.

The book obviously contains a deep religious theme but does not preach religion. Any person who reads Nightmarriage, Christian or Atheist, single or married, will find an amusing tale, whimsical at times, and completely charming.

Chad Thomas Johnston lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife, Rebekah, their daughter Evangeline, and five cats. He is a regular contributor to IMAGE Journal's "Good Letters" blog at Patheos.com. His writings have also appeared in The Baylor Lariat and at CollapseBoard.com.

Nightmarriage by Chad Thomas Johnston, 2013 ebook

No comments:

Post a Comment