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Bloom : a memoir

HAMPTON, KELLE

Widely praised, this memoir is described as a tender, beautiful and emotionally stirring story that "captures happy on every page in a way that grabs you." I fully agree and I would add that this book grabbed my heart the moment I opened the cover.

Kelle Hampton's beautiful little girl, Nella, was born with Down syndrome. Narrating little Nella's first year of life, Kelle bears her soul and shows not only her strong moments, but her weak and vulnerable ones as well. There were times when I wish I could have been right there with her to cheer her on and share a part in her experience. To be sure, there were also times when I wanted to just shake her and tell her to "wake up" already and see that it wasn't the end of the world, but I can understand and see exactly why she felt the way she did.

I definitely recommend this book. One of my favorite parts was Kelle's explanation of why she was so sad. Her feeling as if she had somehow betrayed everyone by not giving them the "perfect" child and seeing a world of possibilities "die" was eye-opening. "You're so right," I thought. Having to let go of your "perfect" future is, however, where hope comes in.

One of the most beautiful things I have ever read came from Kelle's friend Theresa: "not only do you have my thoughts, but you also have my heart and all the love in it. You need it more than I. . . Keep it while yours is breaking, use mine to help repair yours. . . I trust you with it and I know that you'll return it when you no longer need it."

Sometimes all it takes is "finding beauty in the unexpected."

By KayLee Mason
Submitted: January 28, 2013