Book Reviews

Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife: My Story of Finding Hope after Domestic Abuse by Ruth A. Tucker


I’m having trouble deciding how I feel about this book. While I didn’t want to read a detailed accounting of all the abuse Tucker went through in her first marriage, I expected that most of the book would deal with that, given the title and subtitle of the book. Instead, the largest part of the book consisted of the stories of other abuse survivors and discussion about male headship. All topics were interesting to read, but the reason I chose to read this book was an interest in Ruth’s story. I knew there was more to the book than that, but I assumed that would make up the larger portion of the book.

That’s not to say I didn’t find it interesting. I did. Reading Tucker’s ideas on what constituted a good marriage and how male headship should be interpreted was thought-provoking, and she raised several good points in regard to the latter that made a lot of sense to me.

(I suppose it should be noted that I’m not very religious myself, and my beliefs are not based on the doctrines of any particular denomination.)

It wasn’t quite the book I expected it to be; still, it was a good book overall, and I’m glad I read it.

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Zondervan via Netgalley.

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Author: Ruth A. Tucker
Title: Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife: My Story of Finding Hope after Domestic Abuse
Genre: Memoir
Publication Date: March 1, 2016 by Zondervan
Rating: 3 stars

About the Book

Ruth Tucker recounts a harrowing story of abuse at the hands of her husband, a well-educated, charming preacher no less, in hope that her story would help other women caught in a cycle of domestic violence and offer a balanced biblical approach to counter such abuse for pastors and counselors.

Weaving together her shocking story, stories of other women, and powerful stories of husbands who truly have demonstrated Christ’s love to their wives, with reflection on biblical, theological, historical, and contemporary issues surrounding domestic violence, she makes a compelling case for mutuality in marriage and helps women and men become more aware of potential dangers in a doctrine of male headship.

About the Author

RUTH A. TUCKER (PhD, Northern Illinois University) has taught mission studies and church history at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Calvin Theological Seminary. She is the author of dozens of articles and eighteen books, including the award-winning From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya. Visit her website at