Book Reviews of Total Joy

Total Joy
Total Joy
Author: Marabel Morgan
ISBN-13: 9780425038000
ISBN-10: 0425038009
Publication Date: 2/1/1978
Pages: 208
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 3 ratings
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
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2 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Total Joy on
Helpful Score: 1
When she was in third grade, Marabel Morgan's parents went through a divorce. By the time she was an adult, Marabel was looking forward to her own marriage and she felt determined that divorce would never happen to herself or her husband. After all, Charlie was her best friend and they loved each other dearly. Sure, there were certain tiny details - things that could be made better about Charlie - but as his wife, Marabel felt confident that she was up for such a challenge. It was a personal project that she entitled: 'Project: Change Charlie'.

Approximately two years into her marriage, Marabel discovered that her "moonlight and roses had turned to daylight and dishes." She and Charlie weren't necessarily awful to each other - they were still unfailingly polite - it was just that the romance was no longer there; the sparkle was beginning to fade. Marabel Morgan was perplexed. Everything she had done to change her husband didn't appear to have worked, and the tension in their marriage seemed to be getting progressively worse.

So it was that Marabel's quest for marriage survival began in earnest. Since trying to change Charlie wasn't working out, she decided that she needed to change her tactics. It was time for Marabel to start a brand new project: 'Project: Change Marabel'.

When I first started reading this book I hadn't heard of Marabel Morgan, although, since I've finished it I've learned that in the 1970's Ms. Morgan was the spearhead of a hugely successful movement known as 'The Total Woman'. While I've never ascribed to this particular movement, myself, I suppose I can understand how it might become popular with some women. I have also noticed that among certain women - particularly Christians - it seems that there has been a recent resurgence in Ms. Morgan's ideas of a 'Submissive Marriage' - if watching 'The Learning Channel' can be any guide for me.

In my opinion, while this book was extremely outdated for being written in 1976, the idea of living your life and dealing with your marriage according to Biblical ideals is certainly appealing. I can also understand how the women of today hear the term 'Submissive Marriage', and their hackles immediately raise. To be perfectly honest, even the hair on my own neck stood up a little and took notice. However, if the practice works well for the women who decide to implement it, then I have no problem with that. Overall, I would give this book a B+!
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"...most women who followed the Morgan instructions...told TIME that they found themselves for the first time consulting amicably and equally with their husbands about family decisions."
-- Time Magazine

"'ll find Marabel's special kind of advice about how to have a terrific marriage, bring harmony into the home, have happy relationships with children and put joy into the heart of the family."
-- The Christian Review