Monday, October 20, 2014

"Little Girl Blue - The Life of Karen Carpenter" by Randy L. Schmidt ~ Book Review


The biography of Karen Carpenter's life and death.  From the beginnings of her life and growing up years to her passion for drums and her rise to fame as the lead singing half of the duo from the '70's "the Carpenter's".  Karen seemed to have it all, yet behind the scenes and in her private times another story unfolded.  At a time when very little was understood about anorexia, Karen struggled privately to gain some control over her own life.  This book wrote of a domineering mother who's main goal was to promote her brother Richard.  Karen was secondary and decisions were always made in the context of how it would benefit Richard's music career.  The family was close and yet no one saw what was happening to Karen until she was well into the anorexia.  As a team Richard and Karen were very hard workers, always working on their music and even though surrounded by people Karen found herself quite lonely.  She dreamed of being married and having children.   What started out as a diet to help her slim down soon spiraled out of control with food becoming the one thing in her life she felt she was in control of.  She became very adept at hiding what she was doing and at hiding the results of literally eating next to nothing for years.  

It was an interesting read, fascinating and sad.  As with all biographies, especially when the subject has passed away and can't speak for themselves, I read with a grain of salt.  But if everything in this version is true, there was a sadness to this young woman's life and a lesson to be learned of the sometimes heavy burden of pain that famous people might carry that no one knows about.  Karen kept her weight loss very well hidden and though at times some noticed and commented she vehemently would deny it and wouldn't even admit it to herself.   When she finally did seek help it was with the thought that she would attend counselling for a very set period of time and then she figured she was fine.  Not much was known of the causes and triggers of anorexia at the time, so her story ends with the tragic death of one of music's talented artists at a very early age.



6 comments:

Carrie said...

My parents loved The Carpenters but I know little to nothing about them. I'm slightly familiar with their music but not at all their story.

This book sounds very interesting. I usually enjoy the same biographies you have picked up and read so I'll keep an eye out!

Joyful said...

I grew up with aunts that listened to them. I loved Karens voice. I even referenced her the other day about the song Rainy days and Mondays...
Sad and what a waste!

Barbara H. said...

Years ago my husband and I watched a movie based on her life, and I was struck by how sad it all seemed. It's so sad to think of her as gone so early.

Faith said...

I LOVED the Carpenters when I was an older teen! I remember being so sad when she died so tragically. I saw the movie that Barbara mentioned, too. You are doing well with reading....I started FOUR books in the last month, all of which were AWFUL!!! One I started last week and I do plan on finishing it but another book was available at the library so I had to put the first one down as THIS one I'm currently reading has a waiting list. I was sick last night with a horrible stomach virus so i've been home all day and reading....see you for the FFF.

Deb said...

I would really like to read this! I loved the Carpenters when I was a teenager and still think that Karen had one of the truly great female voices. I still love listening to her songs. I am going to look for this biography. Thanks for the review. I am back online now after taking a bit of a blog break and I am hoping to join in with FFF at the end of the week! Have a good one!

Sara said...

She had a gorgeous voice. So sad about her life. Their music is the music of my late teens and early 20s; lots of memories. It would be an interesting book to read.