Bloom: Book summary and reviews of Bloom by Kelle Hampton

Bloom

Finding Beauty in the Unexpected - A Memoir

by Kelle Hampton

Bloom

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About this book

Book Summary

Love me. Love me. I'm not what you expected, but oh, please love me. That was the most defining moment of my life. That was the beginning of my story.

When photographer Kelle Hampton 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.

Bloom is an inspiring and heartfelt memoir that celebrates the beauty found in the unexpected, the strength of a mother's love, and, ultimately, the amazing power of perspective. The author of the popular blog Enjoying the Small Things - named The Bump's Best Special Needs Blog and The Blog You've Learned the Most From in the 2010 BlogLuxe Awards. Kelle Hampton interweaves lyrical prose and stunning four-color photography as she recounts the unforgettable story of the first year in the life of her daughter Nella, who has Down syndrome. Poignant, eye-opening, and heart-soaring, Hampton's Bloom is ultimately about embracing life and really living it.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The author's descriptions of people and events are clear and easy to follow, but it's her beautiful photographs that bring them to life.... Sunny and inspiring." - Kirkus Reviews

"In her tender and genuinely beautiful memoir, Kelle Hampton encourages us to not simply accept the unexpected circumstances of our lives, but to embrace them like the things we wished for all along." - Matthew Logelin, New York Times bestselling author of Two Kisses for Maddy

"Bloom is one of the most emotionally stirring books I've ever read. Kelle Hampton writes with such breathtaking honesty that I actually felt as if I were in the room with her when she gave birth to Nella… and I cried along with her as her initial fears about baby Nella proved true. But mostly, I celebrated as Kelle fell madly in love with Nella and began to realize that being her mother is nothing short of her preordained purpose. This story is a reminder that perfect, when it comes to human beings, is such a relative (and irrelevant) term… and that a mother's love for her child is a powerful, eternal, unshakable force." - Ree Drummond, New York Times bestselling author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks

"Kelle Hampton has a spectacular talent for happy, and captures it on every page in a way that grabs you, that says Hey, wake up - joy is a choice! She reminds us that life may not always look pretty or perfect, but it is always beautiful. Kelle also exquisitely expresses what it is to be a mother, to know that our hearts are big enough to embrace love, terror, joy, pain, exhilaration, sadness - all before our morning cup of coffee. She has indeed made of her life something 'wild and precious' and her book, like her two beautiful girls, is a bundle of joy. I finished it reluctantly and with a full heart." - Claire Fontaine, national bestselling author of Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back

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Reader Reviews

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Pam C. (Artesia, NM)

Bloom!
What an absolutely amazing book and author! So brimming over with the joy of life and living. Kelle and her family were eagerly expecting a second child; the girl they hoped for turned out to have Down syndrome, but otherwise perfectly healthy. Her book is about the choices we make to cope with life. I have no experience being a mother, but her voice spoke to me after having lost my husband in December and helped me to embrace my grief and then go beyond it to an acceptance of all that is life. Kelle is an amazing lady!

Gail I. (Delray Beach, FL)

An Unexpected Blessing
This beautiful memoir of the birth of the author's second child is a lesson to us all. Having expectations for her second child and the future and realizing that her fantasy of perfection is not what life is about, Kelle leads on a journey from grieving over having a child with a handicap to support from her many friends and family members and finally acceptance and joy. I loved the photos since they made me feel as if I were part of her support group. Everyone has something. Sometimes we put too much emphasis on perfection instead of unconditional love and acceptance. It is gratifying that she found joy and learned a lesson from the birth of her "less than perfect" baby. We should all live up to our individual potential and not project our expectations upon others. A heart warming journey of life...

Linda P. (MEDFORD, WI)

A Book to be Savored
Bloom by Kelle Hampton is a wonderful book. Her prose and photos blend into a beautiful life-affirming journey about what really counts. I so enjoyed meeting her family through her words. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Run out and get this title. Enjoy!

Mary M. (Beverly Hills, FL)

Truly "perfect"
Kelle Hampton's memoir of her second, much anticipated, pregnancy and the birth of her second daughter is a poignant, hilarious, and ultimately enriching story of a journey to perfection. Kelle's beautiful daughter is born with Down Syndrome (not giving anything away here) and she is devastated. She loves her daughter with all her heart and soul, but is heartbroken at what she initially sees as a tragedy for both her girls. The story of her, and her family's journey to the realization that little Nella is absolutely perfect is a story of Kelle's own soul-transforming, personal growth and understanding of the full richness of life. Hampton is a lively writer, the family photos are a welcome and charming addition, and both girls are too, too cute! This book is absolutely worth reading.

Amber B. (East Sparta, OH)

The Story of a Rockstar Mama
I really enjoyed this book - especially the GORGEOUS photography of Kelle's beautiful children! While some of the memoir seems to be just a bit TMI (editing out the skinny-dipping story & endless beer references would have been just fine with me), Kelle writes with authenticity, courage, humor, and love. I was impressed with the incredible people in her support system, and she seems like a person you would want as a friend. There's no question that the world will be better because of Nella - and her Rockstars.

Susan J. (Twain Harte, CA)

The Power of a Mother's Love
Kelle Hampton holds nothing back, revealing all her conflicting feelings about her Down Syndrome daughter Nelle's birth. Her support system of 28 "sisters" may seem overwhelming to those of us who handle emotions more privately, but there is no doubt that her story is gripping and true. The photographs are beautiful and speak for themselves of Kelle's love for her daughters. "Bloom" is an excellent read for all mothers and would-be mothers.

...14 more reader reviews

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More Information

More Information

Writer and photographer Kelle Hampton chronicles the simple joys of motherhood and daily life on her popular blog, Enjoying the Small Things. She has been recognized as a Babble Top 50 Mom Blogger, and her blog was named The Best Special Needs Blog by The Bump and The Blog You've Learned the Most From in the 2010 BlogLuxe Awards. An advocate for individuals with Down syndrome, Kelle has been honored by both the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC), receiving the NDSC National Media Award in 2010. She has been interviewed on CNN as a Connector of the Day and on Rosie O'Donnell's radio program, Rosie Radio. Kelle lives in Naples, Florida, with her husband, Brett; their two daughters, Lainey and Nella; and her stepsons, Austyn and Brandyn. Visit her online at www.kellehampton.com.

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