Poor Karen Carpenter!

Poor Karen Carpenter!

The bright-eyed '70s singer of romance ("Close to You") and heartbreak ("Rainy Days and Mondays") leaned way more toward the heartbreak in her personal life.

Randy L. Schmidt's new book about Carpenter, Little Girl Blue -- which I recently alluded to -- digs up tons of research and compassion in detailing poor Karen's plight as a star without enough fulfillment or self-worth.

To wit:

*She felt controlled by so many people that her eating disorder became a way to seize power over herself.

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*Her misguided family tragically refused to see the disorder as the offshoot of a psychological problem which they were at the root of.

*A solo album which Karen did to express her artistic gifts while her brother was busy rehabbing from a Quaalude addiction was shelved when it was deemed not commercial enough.

*Karen felt she had finally found true love, but came to realize her groom-to-be was a liar and a golddigger. But her mother made her go through with the wedding anyway because the invites were already out and plans were in motion!

I could go on, but whatever you think of the Carpenters' music, you will definitely feel for Karen and her rainy days.

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