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.