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Show And Tell

Show And Tell

5.0 8
by Karen Vanderlaan

As a young girl on the idyllic Milky Way Farm, author Karen Vanderlaan initially believes life is full of magic, wonder and horses. All too quickly, however, her innocence is lost when her mother gets involved with an abusive, manipulative woman named Bunny. Bunny subjects Karen and her young siblings to unspeakable cruelties—all in the name of God. Karen's


As a young girl on the idyllic Milky Way Farm, author Karen Vanderlaan initially believes life is full of magic, wonder and horses. All too quickly, however, her innocence is lost when her mother gets involved with an abusive, manipulative woman named Bunny. Bunny subjects Karen and her young siblings to unspeakable cruelties—all in the name of God. Karen's spirit is deeply scarred by Bunny's inhumanity, but the adversity serves to solidify in Karen an inner strength and calmness that carry her through even greater challenges later in life. Karen's story is at once uplifting and heart-wrenching. It reveals the best and worst of human nature in a riveting, true-life tale of the author's journey to change life for herself, her siblings, her children and her beloved horses.

Product Details

Publish America
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.61(d)

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Show and Tell 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PhyllisJeanGreen More than 1 year ago
I want everyone to read this book! Karen Vanderlaan presents her story in a way that is almost startlingly free of self-pity and vituperation. Not to be bitter after all she went through is beyond admirable. Somehow Vanderlaan manages to serve Truth without whining or going off on tangents, and she has the talent, integrity, and discipline that are required to write clearly and in a style that informs without turning stodgy. I love her style! Although she is straightforward, there is a lot of color, and the images she paints rock. The farm that was home to her and her siblings early on comes alive!! The trees, the fences, the pastures, the horses. You find yourself enjoying yourself so much that you feel a little guilty. I love the book's title, but the author mainly shows, rather than tells. Any serious creative writer will tell you that that is key. As readers, we want a writer to fully engage our senses. To see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. This puts us in a story, rather than outside, looking in. Previous reviewers have done a great job of providing details and synopses, so I am going to let it go at that. Except to say again that I want everyone to read this book. 'Amen!'
Guest More than 1 year ago
They say that God only gives us what He thinks we can handle. After reading Karen Vanderlaan's book Show and Tell, I think He must have handed her an extra helping...but you know what? She triumphs over any adversity. Ms. Vanderlaan starts this biography with an almost idyllic childhood - growing up with her siblings on a farm with horses and a father that was active in their lives - her mother was more aloof. Mom has great dreams of being a famous singer. But horses remained a major love in Karen's life, and the humanity she has for them outshines any degree in animal husbandry. When Karen's Mom starts singing with Bunny, and they leave find fame and fortune, things start going downhill. Mom takes her children out of Paradise and into Hell guided by a so-called pious Bunny in search of fame and fortune. But Bunny was an abusive force that the children paid the price time and time again. This abuse was such a regular occurrance, it almost seemed normal to the kids - this abuse was all they knew. When Bunny started 'Bible studies' Karen joined her - in an effort to stop some of the negativity? When you have grown up in a certain atmosphere, it is sometimes hard to leave that environment, and you may go to a like environment, because that is the only thing you know. The main thing is Karen overcomes this negativity through her love of horses - and love of her siblings, and then her children. When I was a child my grandmother had a farm we'd go to often - I'd relish going to the horses and riding and talking to them and seeing their heart and personaity - If there ever was a healing influence, looking into the eyes of an innocent horse surely goes a long way to place balm on the wound. Interspersed in the prose is Ms. Vanderlaan's beautiful poetry. Indeed it is through her poetry on AuthorsDen that I became aquainted with her work. She is a strong, talented person who has the gift of telling a story, whether in prose or poetry. Show and Tell is a powerful book - it is hard reading at times when you read what the children had to endure, but it is with purpose - there is triumph. ellen george
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Karen Vanderlaan story is an epic chronicle of warm moments sprinkled lightly along a gut-wrenching trail of sadness. It moves inexorably on decline to an eventual inspiring uplift, if not of dreams actualized ¿ if not of reality warmly embraced ¿ then of reality acknowledged and fought to a coexistent truce. One could almost characterize this autobiography as a psychological thriller ¿ a novel with clues to later behaviors deftly woven into a little girl¿s childhood experiences of warm sibling relationships squeezed all the tighter by a near universal set of negligent, indifferent, or horribly abusive adults that populated the early phases of their lives. Karen doesn¿t blink in laying out a gripping chronicle of her family tree adorned with virtues and values, along with more than a few ugly warts and blemishes. There is an element of Stockholm syndrome at work here, where the victim forms an adhesive association with a brain-washing abuser. It takes an incredible amount of intestinal fortitude ¿ and the fortuitous intervention of some better angels ¿ to face such overwhelming demons and emerge from the battle a stronger person with life values intact and in control. I found this book a bit disturbing but incredibly inspiring. Karen¿s love of endangered children and horses ¿ and her valiant struggle to make a difference in their lives ¿ is a theme that shines brightly through the dark shroud that she sets about removing from her most eventful life, thread by thread, fold by fold. I highly recommend it for a very emotional, yet soul satisfying read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I received Show and Tell last winter, began to read immediately, and only stopped when I absolutely had to. I finished Show and Tell the next day. It's that good. Show and Tell is hard to read at times. I winced at the trials the author endured. This is not written as an insprirational story. Show and Tell is a memoir, yet it serves as an inspiration to me. To quote Helen Keller: 'The world is full of suffering, but it is also full of overcoming it'. Show and Tell is the story of how Karen Vanderlaan has had great joy, but also plenty of suffering in her life. She has overcome more than many celebrities could understand. Vanderlaan is one of life's quiet heroes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I began reading and couldn't put it down. I read it quickly and passed it to other family members that devoured it as I did. If you have ever known a child that has been damaged by experiences out of their control, this story will bring you hope. I was enlightened by her thoughts as I experienced many emotions. A story of courage and strength.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A beautiful and sad story written from the heart. It is inspriational to read about a person coming through horrors with an intact soul.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Don¿t we all have a story to tell? What makes some worth publishing while others become buried forever? This is a story worth telling because this is one in which the author explores her painful past, struggles to make things different, and utilizes her strength and faith to rewrite her destiny. This is a story about a woman who holds fast to a few tangible, very powerful, memories that have paved the way to her present path. By her bed she keeps a vile of dirt from her childhood farm, ¿Milky Way Farm¿, where life started out full of magic, wonder, and horses. She has a blanket given to her by Bunny¿the woman who took her mother and family away from the farm and tried to take her soul and dignity along with them. A bible, highlighted with select verses in which Bunny used to manipulate God¿s words in order to take her money, starve her, and control her free will. There is a small replica of an astrolabe, the name she gave to her first colt that died a horrible death and took with him a piece of this author¿s dreams and hopes. Two sad letters written to two of her unborn children conceived at the wrong times lie in a box in her room. There is a locket from a deceased lover, and locks of hair from all of her children, both human and equine. In short these memories are turning points in this tale of a strong woman who dared to look at her inner demons and find the courage to change life for herself, her siblings, her children and grandchildren, many struggling students, and dozens of rejected horses. To Karen: I am proud of you for sharing with the world your story. I hope your message will touch the souls of other people who have suffered similar fates. May they too find power in themselves, may they be willing to tell their own stories and may they take from your book the strength to change their roads ahead. Be brave.