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With Love from Karen [Library Binding]

Marie Killilea
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
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The house was spacious and shabby and it had that air of pitiful loneliness peculiar to neglected houses built almost a century ago. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Info on the Killilea Family March 8 2004
By A Customer
Format:Library Binding
If you are interested in information about what happened to Karen and her family over the years, a Yahoo group, Killilea_fans, has done a lot of research which you can find on Yahoo. You need to go to [...] then search for the group killilea_fans. You will need to sign up on Yahoo if you haven't already. Anyone can join the group.
Be sure and check out the Killilea_fans Description page, as it has a link to "Pertinent Postings" (the most important posts with family info) and a "Timeline" of the Killilea Family. The group has also posted a number of photos of the family as well as newspaper articles.
Marie and Jimmy did not divorce, however, "Little" Marie and her husband Ron Smiley did. On a very sad note, on 7/31/68, Gloria and Russ's two daughters, Mary De Lourdes and Evely Ann, as well as "Little" Marie's daughter, Michelle Smiley, died in a fire in the Lea's house. Gloria and her two sons escaped. Marie Killilea died on 10/23/91, Jimmy died on 7/25/94. Gloria died on 11/28/01 and Russ died on 2/15/02.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Oct. 8 2001
Format:Library Binding
I thought my sister and I were the only ones who remembered these books! I am thrilled that it touched others as it touched me.
I first read these books about 27 years ago, when I was 11 years old. I discovered them in the library of my very small Catholic grade school. I was so deeply touched by these books, and Marie Killilea's deep faith and strength still impress upon me today, even though I haven't opened those books since 1974 or 1975.
As the mother of a disabled son (my son is autistic), I have often thought of Marie Killilea and remembered her and her family's strength, and wondered how in the world they were able to be so strong at a time when most disabled children were sent to institutions. There were no support groups then, and very little medical information about cp or brain injuries were available -- none, in fact, to laypersons. It's amazing that they were able to find the immense amount of support from their families and friends in the 40s and 50s.
I am so glad that these books are in print again. I plan to buy them for my 13 year old niece, and I hope that she is inspired by them as I was.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational May 25 2001
Format:Library Binding
I first discovered Karen in the abreviated Readers Digest series when I was probably around nine or ten years old. I obtained the books Karen and With Love from Karen shortly after and I have probably read and reread these two books at least once a year since then. They are the books which have had the most influence on me out of all of the books that I've read over the years. I can't begin to express how much Karen and her family have ment to me, giving me insight into the lives and experiences of the handicapped in a way that I would never otherwise have had. But more then that, their family life, and their religious beliefs and their joy of living and each other has been a great example of how life should be led. I too have wondered constantly how Karen and her family are doing and would love to have an update since the time of "With Love from Karen". I would like to hear from anyone who could let me know. And if by some chance a member of the Killilea family or extended family should read this then know that I send my love and best wishes to them and many thanks for the pleasure that Marie's stories about their family have given to me and continue to give me. God Bless. Love Judy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Karen AND With Love From Karen Oct. 31 2000
By A Customer
Format:Library Binding
I too read "Wren" when I was about 9 or 10 (28 years ago!)and then went on to read "Karen" and "With Love From Karen" shortly thereafter. Along life's way, I've re-read them--especially when I was feeling sorry for myself and needed a swift kick in the behind to put me on a more positive path.
Looking back, I recognize now that the books really shaped my character and my outlook on life. Even if our own lives do not compare, Marie Killilea's absolute dedication to her family, her relationship with her spouse, her strength of faith, and her absolute refusal to acknowledge defeat in the face of her daughter's condition are all benchmarks against which we can all draw strength, perspective and encouragement.
I'm buying the books now for my eleven year old daughter. I know that she will learn from these books from her own perspective, and that they will shape her character as well.
I note a common thread amongst almost all of the reviews--what happened to the family? The need to know has been compelling ever since I read the books so long ago and every time I've cracked them since. Gloria, Karen or Little Marie--we all wish you'd share.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great beauty - but left me with many questions Oct. 20 2000
Format:Library Binding
This sequel, undoubtedly greeted with joy by all of us who loved "Karen," in one sense surpasses the first work. Karen, delightful and positive though she is, is depicted far more realistically than in the initial book, which tended to make her a bit of a picture book saint. Her struggles, decisions, and (in all honesty) unquestionable confusion with the expectations of her wonderful family are quite vividly portrayed. (As an example of the last - one wonders why Marie does not realise that much of Karen's dilemma over "walking vs wheelchair" undoubtedly stems from Marie's constant insistence on Karen's walking - she fought the idea of Karen's having a wheelchair at all earlier in the book.)
The Killilea family clearly had an unusual and blessed balance - tough-minded, persistent, deeply religious, but hospitable and joyous to the point where their home seemed a favourite stopping place for all whom they knew. Yet many new questions remained unanswered. "Karen," though it did not include many extended family members at length, mentioned a large family - in "With Love from Karen," even the most special occasions include many "honorary" family members but no blood relatives. One wonders if the opposition and "advice" which Jimmy and Marie received when they sought treatment for Karen had alienated them from their larger family circle. Reading of Karen's dislocation, which "could have been prevented if certain medical procedures had been followed" in her childhood, I wondered if this had bearing on why Dr. B, the first book's near-saviour, had mysteriously disappeared from mention.
The determination and cheerfulness of the Killilea's is all the more amazing, even inspiring, with "reading between the lines.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book!
I was given these books as gifts when I was 16 (24 years ago)because I also have Cerebral Palsy. My mother read them when I was first diagnosed (18 months old) and thought they... Read more
Published on Aug. 17 2004 by Laura M. Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars Update of the Killilea family
If you go to Yahoo and set up an account, you can join their groups, one of them being a group interested in the Killilea family. Read more
Published on Dec 14 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars FOLLOW UP ON THE KILLILEAS
TO THE WRITER FROM GEORGIA - ALL OF US DO NOT KNOW WHAT YAHOOGROUPS ARE - AND WHAT IS THE KILLILEA BOOK CLUB - DETAILS PLEASE. Read more
Published on April 14 2002 by Diane C Kulik
5.0 out of 5 stars a very inspiring book
I re-read this book whenever I need a boost. if you are interested in learning what has become of this family, check out yahoogroups and join the killilea book club.
Published on Feb. 26 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring book!
I have bought Karen and With Love from Karen books when I was in high school in 1984. I have always wondered where Karen is (if she's still living) and how she is doing. Read more
Published on Feb. 14 2002 by M. Steffen
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of deep faith
I am one of the many who read both "Karen" and "With Love from Karen" as a teenager (20 years ago). Read more
Published on Oct. 19 2001 by Janet M. Robbins
5.0 out of 5 stars Passing on Karen's story to my daughter
I first read this book when I was twelve years old. I must have read it over and over again all through my teenage years. Read more
Published on Oct. 19 2000 by "pstaniewicz"
5.0 out of 5 stars I NOW OWN A NEWFOUNDLAND BECAUSE OF THIS BOOK
I FIRST READ THESE BOOKS WHEN I WAS IN SEVENTH GRADE. THEY HELPED ME TO SURVIVE. I NOW OWN A NEWFOUNDLAND AS A RESULT, AND THEY ARE EVERYTHING THE BOOKS SAY THEY ARE! Read more
Published on Oct. 4 2000 by kARIN MARLIS GOULD
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