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Friday, February 18, 2011

Without a Word...Review

About the book:
Without a Word is a riveting memoir that blends remarkable achievement with passion, sacrifice, love, pain, and human interest. It takes the reader into the lives of a celebrity couple, Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, and his wife, Jill, to reveal the Kelly family's private struggle and how eight and a half years with their severely disabled, terminally ill son, Hunter, unfolded in a redemptive and transforming manner. The light of Hunter's love through his brief and silent life shone into the shadowed corners of Jill and Jim's lives resulting in Jill believing that Jesus Christ was authentic, her learning to forgive Jim of past indiscretions, and finally resulting in Jim's seeking and finding God. Lessons gleaned from Hunter's life and death, and Jim and Jill's struggle to save their marriage during tumultuous times, make this a compelling and inspiring read.

The Kellys are fairly honest in sharing their experiences and there is no doubt that this little boy was the light of their world.

Jill devoted 8 years to caring for her son, which is commendable, but she virtually ignored her husband during that time.  I wish the book had more of Jim in it and less of Jill. He shares a few things, but this would be a richer, fuller memoir if we knew more about his perspective and experiences during Hunter's life.  The book presumes to be about Hunter, but really it's all about Jill and how she managed everything.

I'm not sure what I expected, but I didn't come away very inspired and I ended up skimming through a lot of it. Having a child who suffers from a debilitating, terminal illness is a strain on any life and marriage.  In a marriage where the couple doesn't know how to communicate, situations like this one can destroy it.  Finding God, however, is what finally sustained and helped Jill and Jim.  That they are still together is a testament to the ability to forgive and serious marital counseling.  

I commend them for using their experience and celebrity to help families dealing with this disease and to raise awareness and research funding for it.

Thanks to Valerie Russo and FaithWords for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Jill Kelly here and Krabbe Leukodystrophy here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 2/11

* *
2/5 Stars

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