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

by Dawn

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

Email Author    |    Website About Dawn

When she's not reviewing books, 5 Minutes for Books contributor Dawn (and her online alter ego, morninglight mama) can be found blogging at my thoughts exactly and contributing to The DC Moms.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ann April 7, 2013 at 7:43 pm

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 April 7, 2013 at 8:08 pm

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. April 7, 2013 at 8:40 pm

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 Michelle Adams April 7, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I have a son with Down syndrome and have followed Nella’s story for awhile. Would love to read her book!


5 Aura April 7, 2013 at 10:14 pm

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


6 Danielle April 7, 2013 at 10:37 pm

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.


7 Shantel Schrag April 7, 2013 at 11:05 pm

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!!


8 Beth C April 8, 2013 at 8:16 am

I have a friend with a special needs child. I’d love to read this and share the book with her and others.


9 Tiffany M in MS April 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm

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


10 Anne April 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm

This book would be special. Thanks.


11 Staci A April 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm

It sounds like a wonderfully written book. I’d be interested in reading more about their lives.


12 riTa April 8, 2013 at 3:07 pm

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


13 Dawn April 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm

It looks like a beautiful memoir!


14 joy April 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I really like the cover and the title. I am in the mood for a sentimental story too.


15 Maria April 8, 2013 at 7:47 pm

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!


16 Kasey Giard April 8, 2013 at 8:06 pm

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.


17 samantha w April 8, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Sounds like a wonderful book


18 Emma April 8, 2013 at 11:03 pm

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!


19 kristie April 8, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Love her blog and would love to read Bloom


20 trish April 9, 2013 at 3:17 am

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!


21 Sara April 9, 2013 at 4:22 am

I’m also a special needs mom (autism) and I enjoy reading Kelle’s blog.


22 Seaside Book Nook April 9, 2013 at 6:25 am

I have seen such great reviews on this book. Thanks for the giveaway!


23 Kim April 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm

anything about the journeys of parenthood just make me so weepy.. love it!


24 Charlene S April 10, 2013 at 9:58 am

I like that she wrote about her journey, to have forever.


25 Cindi April 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm

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


26 Kerrie Mayans April 13, 2013 at 12:44 pm

I follow her blog and find her so inspirational. I would love to win this book.


27 karenk April 14, 2013 at 7:42 pm

thanks for the chance to read kelle & nella’s story ;)


28 Jennifer L. April 15, 2013 at 8:07 am

This book sounds so touching and inspiring.


29 Suko April 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm

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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