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Karen Mass Market Paperback – August 15, 1980


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (August 15, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440943760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440943761
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #598,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 84 customer reviews
It is an amazing story of love, strength and fortitude.
Robin H Robinson
When I first read this book, I was just starting my freshman year in high school.
"chikayo"
I too, would love to know more of what has happened to the rest of the family.
Kathleen A. Hall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 66 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 2002
Format: Library Binding
There is an online group of Killilea family fans who has done some searching on what happened to this amazing family...
Marie (author) suffered from lung cancer and had a lung removed in the eary 1970s. Miraculously, she survived for 22 more years and died in 1991 at age 78 of respiratory ailments.
She was survived by her husband, Jimmy; unfortunately, he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and died two years later in a nursing home in Connecticut.
Gloria Lea passed away in Nov. 21 and was survived by her husband, Russ, and two sons. Russ passed away just three months later. Their daughters, Mary and Evelyn, were tragically killed in a housefire in the late 1960s at the ages of 7 and 9.
Marie's married name is now Irish, and she lives in Connecticut. Apparently, she visits Larchmont periodically.
Karen lives in Westchester County and works for a retreat center for priests.
Rory Killilea was last living in the Seattle area.
Kristin Killilea Viltz was last listed as living in Tarrytown, NY.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn McKenzie on September 17, 2000
Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
I first read Marie's children's book, "Wren", while in about second grade. I started reading "Karen" and "With Love From Karen" when I was about 10. Now I've read each of them at least 6 times!
The books influenced my life in many little ways, and in some big ones, too. With little or no religion in my childhood, I found the references to their strong Catholic faith somewhat mysterious--but it taught me some Latin! Now I am a Catholic, imagine that. I much enjoyed the passages about Karen and the Newfoundland dogs, our family is on our second Newfy. Additionally, I learned about courage, faith and determination, and the lessons remain with me today.
A note about the family, one of my Newfy contacts mentioned meeting Karen at a dog show a few years back, and that she was in good health. She no longer had Newfies, but another smaller breed (can't remember what). Both of fher parents are deceased, but no mention there of a divorce. Also, I hear that Karen works at a religious retreat not far from Sursum Corda, the family home on Long Island, I believe it was. She is a very private person, understandably. I hope she knows how many people read or heard her story and were inspired by it!!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Irish Leo on November 4, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this the first time as an adult. I had asked a librarian if she could recommend a good heartwarming book, and she insisted this was what I needed to read. It instantly became one of my all time favorites. The main reason I wanted to review it here, is I notice so many fellow readers complaining about the mother's approach to her daughter's disability, etc, and I want to point out,when Karen was born, the world was a different place entirely. 'Political correctness' had not been coined yet.

Smoking was not recognized as the evil we now think of; in fact, it was common for doctor's to smoke in their offices with their patients. Mother's were not told to quit smoking because they were pregnant. I could go on, but my point is, for the time in our history when Karen was a child, there was no Disability Rights Act. The idea to treat a disabled child with dignity and equal rights were sadly un-common, and this is not the fault of Karen's family. Like all of us, they did the best they could with what they knew how to do.

I think all this P.C. talk is taking away from the underlying feeling of the book. It is a triumph of the human spirit and I see that so clearly and am left feeling good about the strength and courage inside of us that we don't know is there, unless we are forced to summon it, or learn about someone like Karen, who had no choice but to live life the best she could.

I am not condoning smoking or other bad choices mentioned in the book. I am simply attempting to suggest that if that is all you are looking at, you are missing the boat.

This is the kind of book that I love most; it makes me laugh and cry and most of all, it is the kind of story that makes me realize how small most of my problems are.

It brings to mind other humbling people such as Helen Keller. It may not be an equal comparison, but the feeling I derive from it is the same.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Al Pugs on May 10, 2005
Format: Library Binding
Upon reading some of the other reviews I was surprised to see that this book is/was considered a book for younger readers. I have a 2 1/2 year old son who has cerebral palsy (the same type as Karen, but not as involved) and this book was given to me by a friend. I found it fascinating--both the way that Karen's parents learned to work with her and the things that Karen accomplished. Given the historical timeframe, I was not bothered by the fact that they smoked as some other people were. Having gone down this road myself, I cannot imagine what these people went through with virtually no resources, help or information available to them. Marie's story is so real to me and both heartbreaking and inspirational at the same time. I would recommend this book to people to help them to understand what my parenting experience has been like (on a different scale of course--I'm not starting from scratch). A great book!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 2001
Format: Library Binding
"Karen" and "With Love From Karen" changed my life...sounds corny, I know, but true nonetheless. I first became acquainted with "Karen" as a bewildered ten year-old whose parents were divorcing. Even though "Karen" had been published some thirty years prior to the day that I first picked it up as a little girl, the book struck a profound chord within me that still resonates today.
In searching for a common reason as to why these books continue to matter to so many people so many years later, the prevailing theme seems to be the against-all-odds humour that infuses the pages with such joy, and also a sense of "connectedness" to a family none of us will ever know -- perhaps a familial connection that some of us have found lacking in our own lives. The message of these books is timeless -- love your family -- work hard -- be good to animals -- help your neighbours -- be true to yourself -- and let God in your life.
Like everyone else, I would love to know what Karen and the rest of the surviving family are doing now, but one suspects the reason for their silence may have something to do with a wish for privacy that should be respected. I know Marie has passed on, but I would like to thank her and the rest of the Killilea family for encouraging me and thousands of others. (and readers, if you can get your hands on "Newf", it's a beautiful children's book that adults can love too!!)
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