What we did and when we did it. Sometimes.

What we did and when we did it. Sometimes. People, places and events to remember.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

31 for 21: Bloom (a book review)

I've read several book reviews of Bloom lately, and I hate to just be one more in the crowd, but ... it was on my list of books to review - and I'm running out of ideas for 31 for 21.  :)

I have been trying all night to write a review of Kelle Hampton’s Bloom.  It is difficult to review a memoir – especially a blogger’s memoir – because it feels like any criticism of the book (or blog) is criticizing a person’s life.  

From Amazon:
From the outside looking in, Kelle Hampton had the perfect life: a beautiful two-year-old daughter, a loving husband, a thriving photography career, and great friends. When she learned she was pregnant with her second child, she and her husband, Brett, were ecstatic. Her pregnancy went smoothly and the ultrasounds showed a beautiful, healthy, high-kicking baby girl.
But when her new daughter was placed in her arms in the delivery room, Kelle knew instantly that something was wrong. Nella looked different than her two-year-old sister, Lainey, had at birth. As she watched friends and family celebrate with champagne toasts and endless photographs, a terrified Kelle was certain that Nella had Down syndrome—a fear her pediatrician soon confirmed. Yet gradually Kelle's fear and pain were vanquished by joy, as she embraced the realization that she had been chosen to experience an extraordinary and special gift.
I’ll just say it: I think Bloom is OK.  Not bad, not good, just OK.  I’ve been trying to figure out why I didn’t love it, and it comes down to two major issues.  

First, I just don’t relate to Kelle Hampton very much.  Kelle infuses her life with a lot of drama, and I don’t mean that in a bad way.  For example, she prepared for Nella’s birth with hand-designed favors, a birthday crown for her older daughter, and champagne glasses with Nella’s name on them.   She likes to have fairy tea parties with her daughters on the beach. Kelle also uses alcohol to mourn, to relax and to celebrate. Our baby sleeps in a pack and play in our closet.  I’m not very crafty. We don’t drink much. I can’t relate.

The other issue is that I like words better than photographs.  I think Kelle Hampton is an amazing photographer.  Her blog and book are a visual treat!  However, I don’t love her writing.  She’s reeeeaallly wordy.  (And I would probably be the same way if I tried to write a book).

Now, if you are a fan of her blog, you will probably love her book.  And if you’ve never read her blog, let me highly recommend Nella’s birth story.  It is well-written, and the photographs are heartwrenching.  So many tender moments.  In fact, look around her blog for a while.  She has some sweet and inspiring posts - and if you like photography, you'll find lots of eye candy.

Bloom is a fine book, but not one of my favorites.  Check out Kelle's blog first, before you buy the book.

For a different perspective on Bloom, check out this post.

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