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Without a Word: How a Boy's Unspoken Love Changed Everything
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Without a Word: How a Boy's Unspoken Love Changed Everything

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  218 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
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, ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 9th 2010 by FaithWords (first published January 1st 2010)
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Mandy J. Hoffman

I grew up in NY and the Buffalo Bills were "my" team. I even went to got my Jim Kelly trading card autographed one time when I was about 12! So it was with great interest that I listened to this audio book.

First of all I really enjoyed the fact that Jill Kelly read her own book. The vocal expression was wonderful and it was easier to listen to knowing that how she said what she said, was how she meant it. I also enjoyed hearing the voices of Jim, Erin, and Cameron as well.

Jill - and t
Nicholas Maulucci
Oct 14, 2014 Nicholas Maulucci rated it it was amazing
this book was probably more like a three, but I have it a five because there is no place like the Allegheny's, the vineyards off of lake Erie, the finger lakes, the apple orchards, Niagara falls, and the immigrant hominess of the Italians and Poles in and around buffalo - my hometown. Jim kelly vowed he would never play for buffalo, and when he was drafted by them in the first round of the 83 draft, he ran to the USFL. when that folded, he came to buffalo and experienced the intoxicating love ...more
Nov 03, 2010 Brenda rated it really liked it
Not being a football fan I had never heard of Jim Kelly, or his wife Jill, what initially drew me to this book was the fact that Tim McGraw and Faith Hill had written the forward, but once I read this book, I am certain I will never forget the Kelly family and the special little boy that God entrusted them to take care of!

Hunter James Kelly was born on Feb 14 1997 on his fathers birthday, and at the age of four months old was diagnosed with a fatal genetic disease, called Krabbe Leukodystrophy,
Jan 22, 2011 Kari rated it liked it
I won this book from Goodreads a while back and have yet to review it because I had some mixed feelings about it. Hunter's story was heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time, and I really admire Jill's courage as far as being able to share very personal journal entries as well as the details of her troubled marriage. Her writing may not be the best, but she is sincere and, on occasion, almost painfully honest. However, as someone who is not as religious as Jill Kelly and am always struggling ...more
Apr 03, 2011 Denise rated it it was amazing
I cried on every page Jill Kelly's grief as well as total abandon for her son Hunter is palpable on every page. What an amazing story of how their lives are changed for Hunter having been in it!
Judy E.
Oct 19, 2016 Judy E. rated it really liked it
My understanding of the Kelly family turned to admiration as I saw how hard they fought to keep Hunter alive and happy...Yes, it does seem as if God sent Hunter to the Kellys to transform them as a family.
Julie Davis
Oct 08, 2010 Julie Davis rated it it was ok
A review copy ... just begun. From the blurb: Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, and his wife, Jill, to reveal the Kelly family's private struggle and how seven years with their severely disabled, terminally ill son, Hunter, unfolded in a redemptive and transforming manner.

I am struck by a couple of things. One is how the mother watches her two daughters play dolls and must have them fitted up for all the things that her sick son must have (oxygen, feeding tubes) and talk about their "
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
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 i
Lacie Ernst
Aug 29, 2012 Lacie Ernst rated it it was amazing
Wow! I grew up watching Jim Kelly play football as my dad was a huge Buffalo Bills fan but I was unaware of his life off the field, until now. Praise God for Jill Kelly's powerful, beautiful testimony! Her story reminded me of what an awesome God we serve and how He truly works all things together for our good. While it is a story of great suffering, sorrow, and heartache, it is also a story of grace, redemption, forgiveness, and love and Jill gives all glory to God. All life is so precious; ...more
I moved to Buffalo in 2010, and I love it here. Since being in Buffalo/Niagara, I've wanted to learn what it is that makes this gracious, hearty group of people tick... People love and support their hometown people and The Kelly family is one of the driving forces in this area. Their outshowing of faith and willingness to step out and share their pain and let us see into their private hurt and their joy of Hunter's sweet life. I was thrilled to get to see them at church at The Chapel at ...more
Nov 21, 2011 Caitlin rated it it was amazing
I had never heard of Jim Kelly but I was browsing through the library one day and decided to check it out. What a great idea by me. I absolutely loved this book. It was sad, yes but it was also heart-wrenching, inspiring, and uplifting. The amount of love the whole family had for this little boy was amazing, he had truly touched so many lives without uttering one word. The whole situation between Jim and Jill wasn't too appealing as I was more interested in Hunter's story but it was a great book ...more
Oct 22, 2013 Brianna rated it liked it
This definitely was a heartfelt story. From growing up in Rochester and my dad being a huge bills fan during Jim Kelly's reign, these were the main reasons I read this book. No mother or father should ever have to go through the heartbreak of losing a child and Jim and Jill dealt with much more than that. I liked the book because it obviously was a true story and easy to connect with the Kelly family. I didn't like the book toward the middle/end because Jill talks a lot about God and the Bible. ...more
I won this in a First Reads Giveaway.

While heart-tugging this book was not the cryfest I was expecting.
The author was so genuine in sharing the struggles of this family and the amazing miracle God performed in their lives through their precious son, Hunter. It was amazing to read of so many of Hunter's milestones that others thought he would never achieve.

I would recommend this book to anyone struggling with a terminally ill child, a broken marriage, or a loss of faith.
Lisa Currier
Oct 02, 2010 Lisa Currier rated it liked it
This was a very complex book. Of course, sad, as a family watched their son/brother die and could do nothing to help. Inspiring as they struggled to accept, and grow thru tragedy. At times I was bothered that the author painted herslef as a martyr and could not forgive her husband for handling things and grieving differently than she did. But they were both willing to admit that they were not perfect and fight to save their marriage.
Aug 27, 2011 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the second half of this book better than the first part. Prior to chapter 13 I was prepared to give this book a 2-3 star-rating, but Jill's description of Hunter's last few months and his death were very moving. The most emotional part of the book, for me, was in the aftermath of Hunter's death, her struggle with depression, her failing marriage, and how she battled back.
Jan 30, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it
Heart-wrenching but inspiritional memior about a mother and a wife who has to face the certain death of her child and her crumbling marriage. The only thing that can pull her through is her faith and through that faith she is given the amazing stamina to care for her sick son and two healthy daughters and eventually forgive and learn to love her husband again. A miraculous story!
Jun 26, 2011 Lori rated it liked it
“Without a Word” is a heartbreaking story. It had me in tears for a while after I finished reading it... I'm happy that I read it, but I ache for this family's loss and for other families with terminally ill children that continue to fight the good fight on day-to-day basis. Thank you for sharing your beautiful son with us Mrs. Kelly. It was an honor to have met him through you.
Ann Laudisio
Jan 24, 2016 Ann Laudisio rated it really liked it
If you are a Buffaloian it is hard not to connect to this heartfelt story. Being well aware of Hunter Kelly I found the intimate story of his life and impact touching and engaging. I so admire Jill Kelly for her dedication to her son in life and continuing now. This book will certainly help you count your blessings. God Bless Hunter and his wonderful family.
Aug 30, 2010 Chris rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book - not just because I am a Bills fan and love football, but because I love Jesus - Jim and Jill share about His work in their lives over the last 15 years, and it is remarkable. Without a Word is a beautiful tribute also to their dear son Hunter James. I look forward to meeting him someday in Heaven.
Jan 04, 2012 Diana rated it liked it
I was interested in reading about the Kelly family but this book seemed to be very repetitive and a bit fluffy. I think Jill said the same things throughout the book without really substantiating any of it. Jim and I had problems . . . Hunter was a wonderful boy . . . It could have been about half the pages.
Sep 14, 2010 Jan rated it it was amazing
Hunter, what amazing little boy he must have been. The book was sad, but uplifting at the same time. Jill took you on the journey of caring for a sick child ,but she also showed you what knowing God can mean to each one of us.
Feb 12, 2011 Betsy rated it it was ok
I read this book after learning of a family who faced a similar medical situation as the Kelly family. It's very eye opening and insightful regarding a family with a terminally ill child. It wasn't the smoothest read and I skimmed through some of her "Journals."
Oct 25, 2010 Racquel rated it liked it
I did enjoy this book. I did think it was very inspiring. I liked how they focused mainly on their son's disease. I did not need to know about their struggling marriage. I would recommend this book.
Mar 01, 2013 Lesa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Very Touching story of a family who deal with the most heartbreaking events, yet somehow manage and come out better on the ither side.
Sep 18, 2010 Cheryl rated it did not like it
Shelves: review-gr
As a Christian, this ARC book just kept striking me the wrong way on so many levels that I finally gave up at chapter 6.

Mary Ellen
Jan 17, 2011 Mary Ellen rated it liked it
I recommend a book by Mary Beth Chapman, Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope, to read about another prominent family struck by tragedy and the effect it had on their life of faith.
Aug 20, 2010 Jodi marked it as to-read
Shelves: first-reads
Just found out that I won this book through First Reads, I am very excited and can't wait to read and review this book.
Candace Poklemba
Candace Poklemba rated it really liked it
May 09, 2014
Tina rated it liked it
Jan 01, 2011
Angela rated it it was amazing
Mar 24, 2014
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Jill Kelly is the wife of former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. In September 1997, three months after their infant son, Hunter, was diagnosed with a fatal disease called Krabbe Leukodystrophy, Jim and Jill founded the Hunter's Hope Foundation. As chairman of the board of Hunter's Hope, Jill helps children suffering from Leukodystrophy and their families by raising awareness and research ...more
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