Midwest book Review, august, 2011
Jan Thatcher Adams
Franklin Green Publishing
9781936487042, $16.95, amazon.com
is an ever growing library of memoirs and biographies of professional
football players. What is far more infrequent is a candid memoir penned
by the wife of a professional football player. "Football Wife: Coming of
Age with the NFL as Mrs. Karl Kassulke" is an exceptional example of
just such an autobiography. Jan Adams sometimes brutally candid memoir
is a superbly written account by an extraordinary woman in her own
right. Adams had a twenty-five year career as a physician who in the 1990s accompanied Dr. Patch Adams on
a tour through Russian hospitals, orphanages, nursing homes, refugee
camps, and more. Perhaps her crowning professional achievement was
founding Maria's Children International, a nonprofit organization
dedicated to providing art supports and funding to more than 600 Russian
orphans, as well as similar projects in Mexico. But while her
professional career was exemplary, her marriage to Viking NFL player
Karl Kassulke (whom she met playing 'powderpuff' football) was not.
"Football Wife" is a story that incorporates drug abuse, alcoholism,
marital infidelity, the impact of the cult of personality. It is also a
personal history of a series of medical problems that began when Adams
suffered a head injury in a traffic accident in 1985; spinal problems
and a paralyzed leg in 2002; an undiagnosed severe illness in Russia in
2007 only to be followed by a diagnosis of cancer later that same year;
reconstructive foot surgery in 2010; and the necessity of a pacemaker
installed in 2011. In "Football Wife" the reader is informed of the good
times and the bad times, it is an remarkable account of struggle,
failure, and ultimate redemption. A gripping read from beginning to end,
"Football Wife" is deftly written, keenly insightful, occasionally
inspiring, the singular life of a singular woman, and especially
recommended reading for anyone struggling with familial issues
complicated by medical traumas, and impacted by celebrity, success, and
the siren call of hubris.
Additional information --The compelling, funny, and poignant story of the unlikely marriage of a pro football player and an aspiring doctor. Jan Thatcher, a wide-eyed Iowa freshman coed, met Karl Kassulke in 1962 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he was a football hero about to enter the world of NFL football. Told from Jan's perspective, Football Wife is set in a time when America was rapidly changing from conservative to free wheeling, from closet alcoholism to an awakening to the consequences of alcohol abuse. All the while, the sexual, racial, and women's revolutions were raging. A true story told with memories of love and compassion, its cautionary message offers hope to anyone struggling with destructive issues in their relationships.
About Jan Thatcher Adams
See more books from this Author
Published June 15, 2011
by Franklin Green.
Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors.