Sunday, August 4, 2013
Review: Bloom by Kelle Hampton
Author: Kelle Hampton
Who Should Read It? I kind of think this book has a really limited audience. If you're into emotional memoirs or interested in Down's Syndrome, I'd say check this book out. Or if you just like looking at really pretty pictures.
What I Have to Say: Bloom was an incredibly touching memoir of love reached through struggle, of coming to understand love and putting aside prejudices and preconceived notions. It was beautiful, and the pictures to go along with it were more than gorgeous. Plus, I really enjoyed the reading of it. As such, I really wish that I could give this book a higher rating, but. . .I just feel like I can't.
When Kelle Hampton gives birth to a beautiful baby with Down's Syndrome, she is shocked. More than/Worse than shock, though, she is HORRIFIED. Not horrified for the baby and for the life that this PERSON will have to lead in the face of prejudiced onlookers, but horrified for herself, horrified for what other people will think. It takes her a little while to come around to feeling horrified for the child. And even though, throughout the book, she keeps moving back and forth between feeling sorry for the child and feeling sorry for herself, I actually breathed a sigh of relief. Regardless of whether or not she was doing it for the child (or, no doubt subconsciously, doing it for image), she was going to be taking care of this child, creating a secure, loving environment in which this child could grow and be nurtured.
I have no children, and I have no clue how I would react if I ever unexpectedly had a child with Down's Syndrome, but. . .I just hope I wouldn't react like Kelle did. I hope that I would immediately love the child, that I wouldn't spend months, years, going back and forth about whether or not this child was a burden for me or whether or not this child was going to be a burden for my other child. I know we're all selfish, and I appreciate everything Kelle went through and just how HARD this must have been for her. But still, I sometimes just found her so selfish and image-obsessed that I couldn't relate, that I hated her a little.
I think it was amazing and beautiful that she was able to get all of her feelings out there; that she was brave enough to chronicle what she was feeling for the world, even knowing that sometimes she was feeling things she probably shouldn't be feeling. She is a brave, beautiful, and courageous woman, and, on the one hand, I look up at her in awe. I know how hard it is to keep staying positive, keep moving forward when everything around you makes you just want to stop. She kept her head up and kept looking for positive, and for that, I loved her and I loved this book. On the other hand, there were so many things that she thought and felt that I just wish she hadn't thought and hadn't felt.
The thing that, more than anything, got me about this book was that I felt like she never truly CHANGED. I didn't get the feeling in the end that she had gotten over image and learned to love her daughter. I got the feeling that she had learned to accept her, and that for the sake of image she would do what she could to raise her. But I still feel like there was a large part of her that was confused and horrified. Anyhow, I'm just glad the child will have a loving environment in which to grow up.
Summary:There is us. Our Family. We will hold our precious gift and know that we are lucky . . . From the outside looking in, Kelle Hampton had the perfect life: a beautiful two-year-old daughter, a loving husband, and a thriving photography career. When she learned she was pregnant with their second child, they were ecstatic. But when their new daughter was placed in her arms in the delivery room, Kelle knew instantly that something was wrong. Nella looked different than her sister, Lainey, had at birth. As her friends and family celebrated, a terrified Kelle was certain that Nella had Down syndrome—a fear her pediatrician soon confirmed. Yet gradually Kelle embraced the realization that she had been chosen to experience an extraordinary and special gift. With lyrical prose and gorgeous photography, Bloom takes readers on a wondrous journey through Nella's first year of life—a gripping, hilarious, and intensely poignant trip of transformation in which a mother learns that perfection comes in all different shapes.
Cover Story: I actually initially wanted to read this book because I thought the cover was so beautiful.
Note: I received this book for review via Shelf Awareness in exchange for an honest review.