What if that thing you really feared happened? Would the joy you hold pop? Or would you experience love and joy deeper than you can imagine?
They met in college and fell in love. They talked about getting married, and he started looking for a ring. They dreamed about life together, a life of beauty and joy, raising babies and laughing with friends and growing old.
They did not imagine a car accident. They did not imagine his brain injury. They did not dream about the need for constant care and a wheelchair and fear that food might choke him.
And they could not have imagined how persistent love would be. Theirs and God's.
Ian and Larissa Murphy tell their story of love in Eight Twenty Eight. Except, it's not just their love story. Really, it's yours as well. Read and gain a picture of love that will challenge all you think you know about what is true and what persists.
- A struggle with life? You can keep going.
This was a very touching story. I really enjoyed it and the journey. I too wish there was more depth in some places. The thing that bothered me so much though, and why I couldn't give it 5 stars, was that they jumped to the past and back into the story so often that I wasn't sure what time we were in many times. Maybe in print that came through better, but not in audio.
- Not an Enjoyable Read
I really did not enjoy this book at all. The entire story is written in a woe is me, feel sorry for me, I am so great, I did/do so much, I get so little, frame of mind. Larissa continually reminds the reader how great she is. How she has done so much for Ian. How poorly she got treated at the time of the accident because she is not officially family. She pretty much throws a two year old sized tantrum throughout the entire book. We are constantly reminded of the huge sacrifice she made. The thankless job she wakes up to every day and goes to bed with every night. This book is exhausting and I could not wait for it to end. I find the entire story far fetched and hard to believe these are truly Ians words.
I am thankful this book was provided to me for free through the Christian Audio Review Program. I cannot recommend this book at all.
- I recommend this book.
A very special and amazing true story about God's love mixed with human love to create a match made in Heaven. The way it's written will keep your mind well exercised because of its constant movement forward and back in time. The reader, while not Larissa, surely could be mistaken for her (she does it well).
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- Encouraging and Vulnerable
This book is highly inspiring and motivating to live your life for others and for God's purposes. Larissa and Ian are extremely vulnerable about their relationship's ups and downs, which makes them even more endearing. The story does jump forward and then backward in time, so be prepared for that. Anyone wanting spiritual encouragement, and especially those in a relationship where one spouse is disabled or ill, would highly benefit from this book.
- A love that transcends
This is a powerful, compelling, and beautiful story, told with grace and simplicity and filled with expressions of gratefulness and faith.
I had heard the 3-minute version of Ian and Larissa's story in the brief video that circulated a couple of years ago, so I knew how the story turned out--but even still, I found myself listening to this book with bated breath to see how it unfolded.
About halfway through, I was struck by this thought: "Oh my goodness. She really LOVES him." And from there on, the rest of the book was like beholding this incredible level of self-sacrificing love, love poured out and increasing in strength and resolve and permanence, love that never wavered in the face of sickness and sorrow, love that faced the perfectly clear truth that the brain injury wasn't going away.
Larissa, in this story, has modeled for our generation what it looks like for love to boldly stride forward into suffering and still find joy and thankfulness in that most unlikely place. This is a triumphant testimony of the kind of love that springs from the heart of our Father, and a glimpse of one woman drawing from that living water and pouring it out for another.
I could not help but be moved and challenged by this story. Would I choose that? Would I choose to love, to stay, to marry? Would I not run from the heartache, escape the inconvenience, and get as far away as possible to look for solace? Does not this show me the littleness of my love? Larissa shows us that it is possible, even with a breaking heart, to carry on and bear a tragedy that does not get lifted from your shoulders, and yet face the world squarely with a smile and with grace and with expressions of gratefulness and praise.
Thank you, Larissa, for this beautiful picture, this demonstration of Jesus, this tangible, transcendent love that you have allowed the Lord to build in you. What you have poured out upon Ian also falls in drops upon your readers, to increase our vision and capacity to love. The trail that you have blazed will be easier for the next person to tread as they follow your brave footsteps up the mountain of difficulty. And our hearts cry "Glory, glory!" to the God who makes this possible.
This is an absolutely amazing book. Such a testimony of love in a world that thirsts for just that. I was awestruck for much of this book. I absolutely recommend this book for everyone.
- What a beautiful Love Story!
Eight Twenty Eight is an amazing true story of love as God intended. Love that doesn't leave when the going gets difficult. I was deeply blessed listening to it and would urge you to have a listen. It is a story that resounds with tears, helplessness, and sorrow but also life, joy and hope. Larissa and Ian's love story is one that needs to be heard over and over again. Praising God that such love is made possible through the immense love of our Saviour. Excellent book Larissa and Ian - thanks so much for sharing your beautiful story with us.
- Misuse of objective case pronouns
Mrs. Murphy repeatedly misuses the pronoun "I" instead of "me" in the objective case, e.g. "with Jan and I". This is very annoying, distracting and frustrating to me.
This is an amazing story! I love how Larissa Murphey uses words to describe things; she makes things come to life! I also like the person they picked to read the book. Her voice was very nice to listen to and did not make me cringe like some book readers do. I definitely recomend that everyone should get this one!
- A touching story of enduring love
Eight Twenty Eight displays not only Ian and Larissa Murphy’s enduring love for each other, but also their growing love for God and His ways. Beginning during their early friendship-to-dating years to post-accident marriage, their love for each other, especially Larissa’s unconditional acceptance of their unexpected future, is heartening, moving and memorable. Through easy times or tragedies, God sees us through and His love is evident if we trust in Him. We can build our lives, love, and strength when Christ is our foundation.
There are many touching moments in this book. Simple sentiments, such as Larissa mentioning how Ian would use his hands and arms when he spoke (before the accident.)
Poignant quotes from the book:
“…something was shifting in my heart toward God, a desire I hadn’t known since my high school days or even earlier. Things that I had known in my head were starting to take root in my heart. ... Faith came alive in me, and I was able to look at the world in a completely different way.”
“I stepped toward him (Ian) and knelt down and as soon as I did, he reached his right arm to my left wrist and traced my skin up to my shoulder. He curved his arm around the curve of my back until I was comfortably pulled into him. He shifted his head into the curve where my shoulder met my neck. It seemed like his instinct. It seemed like he knew exactly what he was doing. And in that moment, a tingle of excitement buzzed through my heart that I’d almost forgotten how to feel. From then on I waited every night for my hug.”
“Ian was happy, his lips quickly marching into the position of a genuine smile. A practiced formation that was showing up more often, the further Ian got away from 2006.” (After meeting his new nephew.)
“Wrapping his arms around me into a kiss, my dad left me at the altar with a man he knew couldn’t take care of me the way my dad wanted him to, but hoped this was what his daughter really, truly wanted.”
Audio Narration: Erin Spencer, the narrator, has a voice that is articulate and flows smoothly, but wasn’t quite as engaging as I’d hoped. The ‘sweet’ factor seemed almost like the she was speaking to a young audience, rather than adults. It wasn’t annoying, just a little distracting (to me.)
Audio Production Quality: The production quality of this audio book is clear, with no distracting background music, static, or skips. I feel the narrator did a decent job, but wish she used a more natural voice, rather than the sugary voice that might be better suited for children’s stories.
Overall opinion of Eight Twenty Eight: The story is told in an honest fashion, often infused with humor, as well as real emotion. Her frankness in disclosing embarrassing or painful accounts makes it easy for the reader to relate to, or empathize with her. And the descriptions create vivid imagery.
Audio Length: 7:21
Pages (printed length): 243
First Lines (introduction): I sank down into my nap, covering my tired feet in the white comforter, aching from another high-heeled day. The cloud settled over and in between my toes, legs, waist, and body, as its goose feathers warmed my skin.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a Review Copy from christianaudio. I was not required to write a positive review. The options I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
- I'd give up my man card for this book
I first became interested in the story of Ian and Larissa Murphy when I saw them in a promotional video for John Piper’s book This Momentary Marriage. Their story of faith and commitment, shown in only a few minutes, was powerful. Now that they’ve put together a book describing the story of their relationship, I’m completely amazed.
When it comes to reading, romance books, relationship books, and marriage books are not high on my list, probably much to the chagrin of my wife. At first glance, Eight Twenty Eight looks like it could be one of those books, but it’s not. It’s a story, a true story, told in Larissa’s voice about how she and Ian met, dated, and eventually married. The unique part of their story is the fact that Ian was involved in a car accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury and serious physical impairments, all before they got married.
This is a story about love. Not the love you see in a sappy rom-com or chick-flick your wife convinces you to watch with her on a Friday night, but the kind of love that “endures all things” as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13. It’s about how Ian and Larissa’s commitment to each other, grounded in their relationship with God, overcame a car crash, a brain injury, physical impairments, and the expectations of some that Larissa and Ian should each “move on with their lives” apart from each other. If The Notebook was a compelling story as fiction, Eight Twenty Eight is even more compelling as truth. I highly recommend it, and I will be suggesting it to family and friends because the book is just that good. This was clearly one of the best books I’ll enjoy this year, likely even longer than that.
I received a copy of this book from christianaudio for the purpose of review.
- Love Despite Circumstances
Eight Twenty Eight by Larissa Murphy and Ian Murphy is an amazing autobiography about a young dating couple whose relationship and lives were thrown into chaos due to a horrible car crash. It chronicles the early days of a beautiful courtship between two young Christians, the crash, after effects and the long path of recovery as well as their relationship developing in a much more mature and loving way.
The book is written in a non-linear fashion, so you get to hear stories and incidents from after the incident contrasted which the character of Ian before the crash. It covers the wrestling that Larissa went through as she realised that the man that she was starting to love may never the be the same again (hopefully he will be totally healed though) and about whether they should get married.
I absolutely love autobiographies especially when they are about normal, everyday people who overcome big obstacles with God's help and guidance. This book brought me to tears a few times as the accident is recounted as well as occasions when Larissa showed sacrificial love to Ian that could only come from God flowing through her life. It is really amazing to see such a great relationship and marriage come out of such a horrible trial.
The narrator was really good as she conveyed the feelings and emotions of a very personal story. She was very easy to listen to and she presented the book beautifully.
This book would be fantastic for anyone who is going through a tough situation or who just loves to see how amazing God can be in a difficult situation.
This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at christianaudio.com.
- Absorbing Listen
I've really enjoyed listening to this audiobook, although the subject matter is not an easy one to listen to. The writing is beautifully done and the narration by Erin Spencer is perfect, making me feel like I was the authors confidante throughout. I was completely drawn into the story of Larissa and Ian Murphy. The recounting the awful situation of the terrible accident that Ian had and then living and coping with a brain injury. I liked the honesty throughout of Larissa's struggles of how she struggled to accept her situation, instead of pretending everything was fine by putting on one of those a happy fake faces. I also liked the way she questioned some of the teachings well meaning Christians put to her. This is an encouraging book for the Body of Christ and I fully recommend it to all listeners with or without a faith. Thanks to christianaudio.com Reviewer's Program for this copy.
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