Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter

Randy L. Schmidt, Chicago Review/A Cappella, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 9781556529764
From the beginning, Richard, not Karen, was the talented musician whose parents moved across the country for a better career. Karen dabbled in music and tagged along on gigs, but it would be years before her show-stopping voice commanded the spotlight. And that shift, when the forgotten little sister became star of the act, Schmidt argues, marked the beginning of Karen's deadly, lifelong struggle with weight. Schmidt tracks the anxieties that seem to have driven her eating disorder, including a controlling mother and the lack of a stable love life. After the failure of her first solo effort, Karen made a bid for happiness with the dashing Tom Burris that would prove short-lived; he was only interested in her money. This was one setback too many for the gifted singer, and by 1983 she was dead, at 32. The self-destructive pressures of celebrity make for a familiar narrative, but Schmidt treats Karen's death not as an inevitability, but a tragedy that built slowly. His sympathies for the star border on fawning, but the copious research and quick-moving narration make this a volume that die-hard Carpenters fans and casual listeners alike will find interesting. (May)
Reviewed on: 07/19/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 392 pages - 978-1-56976-692-7
Paperback - 351 pages - 978-1-56976-818-1
Show other formats
FORMATS
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X