What did you think of Ken?

Use this forum to discuss the January 2019 Book of the month "Winning the War on Cancer" by Sylvie Beljanski
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Alicia09
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What did you think of Ken?

Post by Alicia09 » 08 Jan 2019, 18:27

Ken helped Sylvie start her non-profit organization called the "Beljanski Foundation". He also traveled with her to numerous conventions to share her father's research. Yet in Chapter 9, Sylvie described him as "emotionally unavailable" and chose to file for divorce. What was your overall opinion of Ken?
:character-beavisbutthead:

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Post by briellejee » 09 Jan 2019, 07:06

The book is not focused on Ken though, so I can say little much of him. He did take part to build up what Sylvie wanted for her father's work, so I guess he was a part of it. But whether what Sylvie claims is true or not, I cannot really say since I paid him little to no attention since I am much more interested in the scientific evidence. :tiphat:
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Post by Sweet Psamy » 09 Jan 2019, 07:13

Though the major focus was not on Ken, I disagree with Sylvie's description of him. He couldn't have done all those things without being emotionally available.

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Post by Ehartl » 09 Jan 2019, 07:56

I didn't like the character of Ken. Although he did help Sylvie in a few ways, like starting the foundation, he did so begrudgingly. It also felt like he attended conventions with her because he had to, not because he wanted to. He didn't even ask her about her trip to the Amazon. I agree with Sylvie, he is emotionally unavailable.

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Post by C-Extra22 » 10 Jan 2019, 13:21

I think Ken did the best he could. As to being 'emotionally unavailable', I think Sylvie misunderstood him completely.

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Post by cpru68 » 11 Jan 2019, 01:45

Unless a person is in the actual marriage, it’s difficult to say who is right and who is wrong. All I know is that this author was in pursuit of something that was at times beyond her natural abilities, yet, she put herself aside to achieve a greater good. Her descriptions of Ken seem alarmingly close to someone I was once associated with. Going through the motions to help someone isn’t genuine help. As a marriage partner, you are to be the best of friends and try to understand one another. Ken’s reactions to her parents alarming arrest and her wanting to continue her father’s work seemed self centered and not on the same page. He never seemed interested enough to put his own self aside to really understand what she was trying to accomplish. While her world was blowing up around her, her husband was not a soft place to rest and be comforted. This situation, I believe, only brought to the surface marital troubles that probably had been there all along.
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Post by Mark Dice » 11 Jan 2019, 02:50

I noted from the beginning that Sylvie refused to say anything positive about Ken, so I figured that they were on their way towards divorce from the beginning. Obviously, you can not put the blame of a failed relationship on either person, and it would be impossible to really understand Ken's character without hearing his point of view.

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Post by Onyinye Excel » 12 Jan 2019, 08:45

Ken was a little bit emotionally unavailable as she said.In spite of all he did, she was right in filing for a divorce.

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Post by lesler » 12 Jan 2019, 13:05

I think we don't even know close to the full story, but the author definitely villainized him. That's unfortunate, and I hope he understands.

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Post by briellejee » 12 Jan 2019, 21:20

HollySchafer wrote:
11 Jan 2019, 02:50
I noted from the beginning that Sylvie refused to say anything positive about Ken, so I figured that they were on their way towards divorce from the beginning. Obviously, you can not put the blame of a failed relationship on either person, and it would be impossible to really understand Ken's character without hearing his point of view.
Agreed. Since the author controls most of the book, it would be unfair to judge Ken based on the author's claims.
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Post by AndrewZachariah » 13 Jan 2019, 13:51

I thought Sylvie's description of Ken and his behavior was absolutely accurate, and I agreed with her decision to file for divorce. This book is not about Ken, and while you are right that he did help Sylvie in starting some aspects of the nonprofit, he only helped after complaining, belittling Sylvie and her mission, and arguing over trips she was taking. You may have noticed that only chose to attend conferences in areas he was interested in. He was rude, un-supportive, belittling, and invalidating of Sylvie's wish to go to the Amazon, and he pitched a fit about he decision to help the local village start a school in exchange for their labor for the tree bark she needed. Like I, and many other, said, this book isn't about Ken, but what I read about Sylvie's descriptions of his behavior, and her perceptions of his behavior, Ken was emotionally unavailable. He was far more focused on his personal thoughts and beliefs about Sylvie's work, and only involved himself when it suited him, or when Sylvie's begging began to annoy him. I think Sylvie made an excellent decision to file for divorce.
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Post by kandscreeley » 13 Jan 2019, 14:40

Ken and Sylvie are real people. We don't have the full story. I don't think we can judge.
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Post by SummerWine » 13 Jan 2019, 15:36

I'm not entirely sure what to think of Ken since he's not the main focus of the book. But just because Sylvie describes him that way it doesn't mean he's like that. People change and grow (sometimes apart) within a marriage and if you are not part of that marriage, you probably can't understand certain things. What is certain is that Ken brought his contribution to the non-profit.

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Post by Maya_Nyssa » 13 Jan 2019, 15:40

I think it's impossible to know what Ken was like since we only have Sylvie's opinion of him. The one thing that was very telling was Sylvie rushed to emergency surgery, and Ken was not present. Regardless of fault or what kind of person he was, clearly the relationship was not in the right place.

That said, if this were a work of fiction, I would not look upon Ken's character kindly.

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Post by BeautySuzy » 13 Jan 2019, 20:31

Sylvie has talked about him in her own opinion, maybe if I met that person I would have a different one.
I can't really judge.

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