Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected {Review and Giveaway}

The birth of a child is a time full of emotion, celebrating the new life in one’s family. When Kelle Hampton was preparing to welcome her second child into the world, she had visions of the life ahead. As her newborn daughter Nella was handed to her moments after delivery, she realized that the life ahead of them would be different than she had first imagined. A diagnosis of Down syndrome was soon confirmed, and Hampton began a parenthood journey filled with a myriad of emotions. Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected is Hampton’s memoir account of Nella’s first year.

Readers of this affecting memoir need to be prepared for a few things. One, keep a tissue box nearby at all times when reading, for Hampton’s voice is evocative and familiar, reaching out as if in conversation with a good friend. She doesn’t hold back here at all, and her fierce honesty reveals mixed emotions about this new parenting territory. She bravely puts it all out there, the dark and the bright moments, and the emotions are strong.

Through the process of recounting Nella’s first year, Hampton ends up reflecting more specifically on her own journey as a mother. Her memories and introspection reveal a mother who deeply loves her children and who is prone to tears through the happy and the sad. To complement her memories, Hampton’s photography skills give readers an intimate look into her life, from pictures in her hospital room to images of Nella and her sister Lainey in the loving arms of their family. Hampton certainly has a way with words and with a camera, expressing beauty and joy through both mediums.

Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected is a lovely tribute to a parenting path Hampton never expected to travel upon. This is a beautiful read for all parents, and one that I suspect will resonate even more deeply with parents of children with special needs.

For more ways to connect with author Kelle Hampton, check out her website, Facebook page, Twitter account, Pinterest boards, and Instagram pics.

We’re so happy to offer up a copy of Bloom in today’s giveaway. Please follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below to enter. Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents.

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5 Minutes for Books contributor Dawn loves reading parenting stories of all kinds. Every once in a while, she shares her own on her blog, my thoughts exactly.


  1. Ann says

    My sister was born mentally and physically challenged. “Special needs” people are just that – special. My mother raised her beautifully, during a time when there was little acceptance. She fought for my sister’s well being and happiness in the world. I imagine this book will bring me to tears, but I appreciate all mothers – especially those who raise children with challenges. It’s a lot harder than people think.

  2. Stacey B says

    I’ve followed this blog since Kelle gave birth to Nella. I first read Nella’s birth story and I was hooked. I’ve been wanting to read this book since it came out!

  3. Jessica B. says

    I have followed Kelle’s blog for awhile now. I’ve been wanting to read her book! My cousin has special needs and I am a teacher that has had special needs kids in my class. I think this would be a very inspiring book to read as a mother too.

  4. Aura says

    I have enjoyed reading Kelle’s blog since Nella was born. Her first heartbreaking post about Nella’s birth and touching writing technique has really taught me how to except the unexpected and touched me in numerous ways

  5. Danielle says

    I have a cousin with special needs and I would love to learn more about children like her so I can help her develop and grow.

  6. says

    This book is writing with such strength, such honesty, and truth! Kelly is amazing and I have read blurps and they bring me to tears. Being a mom is such an AMAZING job!!

  7. Tiffany M in MS says

    i have been reading Kelle’s blog since Nella was born!! She is an amazing writer and an awesome mom!!

  8. says

    Sounds like a very inspirational read, and encouraging to those touched by (blessed by) those unexpected hidden or obvious disabilities.

  9. Maria says

    Sounds like a great read! As a teacher I have worked with students with special needs. When I was pregnant I thought a lot about how life would be if our child had special needs. Luckily she is a healthy 17 month old now!

  10. says

    As a recent divorcee, parenting has become so much more challenging than I anticipated when I became a mother. Though my struggles are different, I’m drawn to the story for the opportunity to share in the experience of raising a child under different circumstances than one ever planned. Looking forward to reading it.

  11. Emma says

    Ive wanted to read kelle’s book ever since it came out, but could never find it in the stores where i live in canada! I have a cousin with down syndrome, and follow kelle’s blog and instagram! Love her writing and photos so id love to read Bloom as well!

  12. says

    I’m so glad you liked the book! I have a hard time leaving Kelle’s blog when I pop over there — her writing is fantastic and I didn’t expect anything less for her book!

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  13. Cindi says

    One of my friend’s has a grand-daughter with Down’s Syndrome and I
    would love to give her this book…
    Also, I would enjoy reading it!
    Many thanks, Cindi

  14. says

    Now that I am done reading and reviewing this book for TLC (and for myself), I can see what others thought of Bloom. I also loved this memoir.

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