They say that God only gives us what He thinks we can handle.
After reading Karen Vanderlaan's biography, Show and Tell, I think He must have handed her an extra helping...but you know what? She triumphs over any adversity thrown at her.
Ms. Vanderlaan begins with an almost idyllic childhood - growing up with her siblings on a farm with horses and a father what was active in their lives - her mother, however, wasn't so close with them. As her dream of becoming a famous singer grows, she becomes more aloof.
When a singing partner named Bunny enters the mother's life, the two singers leave to find fame and fortune - things go downhill in the kids' lives. The children are taken out of paradise at the farm and into the Hell guided by the so-called pious Bunny - Bunny's abusive force beat the children down constantly. When this abuse is such a regular occurrance, it almost becomes 'normal'. And you tend to go to like environments because that is all you have known.
The main thing is Karen overcomes this negativity through her love of horses - and love of her siblings, and then love of her children. When I was a child, we would go to my family's farm, and I was fascinated with the horses. I loved to ride but more importantly, I loved talking to them and seeing their heart and personality. If ever there was a healing influence, looking into the eyes of an innocent horse surely goes a long was to place balm on a wound.
Interspersed in the book's prose is Ms. Vanderlaan's beautiful poetry. Indeed it is through her amazing poetry that I was first introduced to Ms. Vanderlaan here on AD. She is a strong, talented person who has the gift of telling a story, whether in prose or poetry.
One of the most amazing stories Ms. Vanderlaan relates when she was a teacher of young children, and the lesson one troubled child learned from her - I will not spoil it for you, but it brought tears to my eyes, as I had a similar experience when I was a teacher.
Show and Tell is a powerful book - it is hard reading at times when you read what Karen and her siblings had to endure, but it is written with purpose - there is triumph.
Book review of Show and Tell by Karen Vanderlaan, ISBN: 1-4137-4637-3, PublishAmerica, review by ellen george