Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bloom by Kelle Hampton

Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected by Kelle Hampton
Copyright 2012
William Morrow - Nonfiction/Memoir
278 pages

Reason for reading: I saw the trailer and thought Bloom sounded inspiring. I love an upbeat memoir.

Side note about the trailer: I was going to include the trailer in this post but there's an advertisement before the trailer. Since a trailer is an advertisement itself, that gave me pause. An advertisement with an advertisement? That was just something I didn't feel right uploading to my blog, since I feel strongly about it being my personal space to blather on about books and not a money-making venture. However, if you're interested, just look up "Bloom trailer Kelle Hampton" on YouTube and it'll pop right up.

Brief summary:

Kelle and Brett Hampton and their 2-year-old daughter Lainey were excited about the coming addition to their family. Sonograms indicated that Nella would be a healthy baby girl and Kelle's pregnancy was uneventful. But, the moment Nella was placed in her mother's arms, Kelle knew something was wrong with her. Nella's flattened nose and almond-shaped eyes were obvious signs of Down's Syndrome. After Kelle's worst fears were confirmed, she grieved the loss of the perfect, healthy child she'd expected but decided she would not let Nella's condition defeat her positive attitude and set about finding joy and beauty in every day of both her children's lives.

Bloom is a memoir in which photographer/blogger/writer Kelle Hampton shares memories of her life, with emphasis on her family's first year with Nella and her determination to live life to the fullest.

I think I'm going to ditch the usual love/dislike format

My feelings about Bloom are more complicated than I expected (and irrelevant -- for some reason, this book seems to have brought a lot of emotional crap to the surface). Since much of what I originally typed up is not worth printing, I'm going straight to the bottom line.

Recommendation: A beautiful but overlong book with a positive message, recommended but not a personal favorite. A very emotional read; bring tissues. Bloom is not a book I will return to, even to flip through and look at the photos as it's much like peeking into a family photo album, although the photography is really lovely. Readers must bear in mind that Bloom is a memoir; it is the author's story and focused on her experiences and feelings; it is not a book for people who are looking for information about Down's Syndrome but a book to read for its inspiring message about choosing to love life, no matter what's thrown at you, and to embrace everyone regardless of differences.

And, here's a totally meaningless cloud photo, "Beautiful Puffy Clouds Reflected in Porsche":

©2012 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. I flipped through this book when it came into the house and wanted to sit down and read it right then. This is the kind of book I love.

    1. It's a beautiful book and I love this kind, too -- memoirs that are inspiring. I was just a tad disappointed and would not reread it but I think it's a good book and I hope you love it.

  2. I am wondering if I will like this one, and your reaction to it has me very curious. Often I find it hard to evaluate memoirs, because it seems that making critical statements about them is like somehow judging the person who is writing the book. I am wondering if this is the way you felt about this book. Thanks for sharing this review with us. I must say that I am more than a little intrigued!

    1. Heather,

      I try not to do that but memoirs are, by their very nature, just a touch narcissistic. So, you have to separate yourself from the personal a bit and try to just evaluate them on their merits. Sometimes I succeed at that; sometimes I don't. I do think the author sounds like a lovely person with a big heart. The emotions the book triggered have nothing to do with her and aren't relevant to a review, so I wrote them up and then happily deleted them. I let a bottle of water interview me. That's the only sad thing about ditching the extra stuff. I thought that bottle of water was a pretty decent interviewer. ;)

      If you're going to drive through Mississippi, anytime soon, I'll be happy to hand you my copy. Got any road trip plans?


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