by Marie Killilea
Years ago I first picked up a little paperback copy of Karen at a thrift store. After writing yesterday's post, I started thinking about this book again. It's the story of a girl born in the 1940's with cerebral palsy. Written by her mother, the story opens with the parents' expectant joy in their new baby, slowly being replaced by uneasiness and anxiety as she never moves. Does not wave her arms, crawl, babble, etc. Soon they receive a diagnosis, and an idea of what it will mean: their daughter may never walk, talk, be able to care for herself. Karen's family did not tamely accept that verdict. Relentlessly they took her to doctors and specialists, searching for something that could be done. Their family worked into their daily life physical therapy routines for Karen, and at the same time taught her to be independent and self-reliant in spirit, even as her physical handicap made every little task a struggle. Her family's indomitable faith and determination are very inspiring. She made progress beyond what any of the doctors thought could be achieved, and her parents became active in organizing for and helping other families with CP children. More than just an inspiring story, Karen is a warm tale of family life, the writing flows easily and is full of life and humor. It's such a wonderful book to read.
Rating: 4/5 ........ 314 pages, 1952
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