Whew! I just flipped the final page of Bloom by fellow blogger, Kelle Hampton, and feel like I am just now coming up for air.

Kate recommended this book to me last week and I’m so glad she did. These days, I’ll usually just download books on my Kindle but actually bought this in hardcover because I wanted to thoroughly enjoy the gorgeous color photos that went along with the story. It was definitely worth the trip to the bookstore.

Bloom is Kelle’s story of finding out upon birth that her daughter, Nella, has Down Syndrome. As readers, we feel Kelle’s shock, disbelief, grief, anger and, finally, joy right along with her. I actually had to set the book down after page eight for an hour because I was crying so hard.  It’s such a beautiful memoir and Kelle is such a prolific and talented writer—I really felt like I was right there in the hospital amongst her group of girlfriends, crying and laughing at the same time. It sounds kind of cliche to say “a book changed me”, but after finishing Bloom I do feel changed. Kelle writes with such honesty and authenticity that you can’t help but consider her a friend by the end and think quietly to yourself, “If she could get through this, maybe I could, too”.

I highly recommend this book to everyone! Just do yourself a favor and buy the hardcover! You don’t want to miss this.

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  • mom
    June 5, 2012 at 4:28 am

    I just turned the last page last night. Heart rendering and hopeful. Very passionate book. Kelly has written a book that everyone would gain by reading. You never know what God has in store for you; but, He does meet you wherever you are.

    • joelle (on a pink typewriter)
      June 5, 2012 at 6:46 am

      I haven’t read this book, but thank you for the last line of your comment here- very much what I needed to read today (and lately). Jenna, your mom is a wise woman! 🙂

      • polly
        June 5, 2012 at 7:26 pm

        i love jenna’s mom, too! Jenna’s mom??????????? can you please come to the she reads truth conference too? I want to meet you. 🙂

        • polly
          June 5, 2012 at 7:27 pm

          i meant the influence conference! Just messed up the name. 🙂 it is in a very nice State. 😉

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    June 5, 2012 at 4:46 am

    I saw your photo of this book on Instagram and now I really want to read it. Like you, sometimes I buy books in hardcover just to look at the pretty pictures – something a Kindle or iPad just can’t capture. Thanks for the review Jenna, I’ll be sure to check this one out!

  • Coco
    June 5, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Thanks for the review. This has been on my “maybe” list for awhile–you just moved it to my “definitely” list!

  • Kate
    June 5, 2012 at 5:17 am

    Glad you liked it. It’s very moving.


  • Erica
    June 5, 2012 at 5:36 am

    I’ve put it on my list to get for our Florida beach vacay next month 😉 Thank you for the recommendation, my friend. Love you!

  • Lisa
    June 5, 2012 at 6:03 am

    I cried and cried…then hugged my children and thought “I don’t know if I would have that strength”. But mom’s are resilient and love for their own is stronger than anything else in the world. This is so awesome….

  • Meg
    June 5, 2012 at 6:12 am

    I always enjoy your book recommendations. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jennifer
    June 5, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Agreed!! Even though I read Kelle’s blog, and knew the entire story, reading it in further detail in the book had me crying, laughing, etc. all over again. She really has such a beautiful writing style.

  • Sarah
    June 5, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Thanks for the recommendation! I’m totally going to read this book now! I have a cousin with down syndrome & since he is grown-up now (he’s 30) I have seen that people with down syndrome are usually very happy & live very full lives.

  • Margarita
    June 5, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Great review Jenna! I teach students with moderate to severe disabilities and everyday, I learn something new from them… They are sweet, brutally honest, innocent, funny, demanding of time and attention, hard-headed, impulsive, anxious, scared, happy, everything… I never know what to expect! But they are the most wonderful people I have ever been around with, they love with all their hearts and they expect nothing but to be loved back and I feel blessed to have the chance to be a positive influence in their lives. Can’t wait to add this book to my reading list!

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    June 5, 2012 at 6:50 am

    What a beautiful story. Thank you for suggesting this. I’m definitely adding this to my summer reading list.

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    June 5, 2012 at 7:05 am

    I read her blog post months ago where she talked about the birth and it was one of the most emotional reads I’ve ever gotten through. From sadness, to frustration to happiness. Everything all in one post. Honestly, that post was such an emotional rollercoaster, I’m not sure I could make it through an entire book.

  • Alisha @ Pink Spatulas
    June 5, 2012 at 7:05 am

    I’ve seen this book mentioned on several blogs and now I definitely want to jump on the band wagon after reading all the positive reviews. Also, thanks for bringing up the pictures, like you, I normally just download my books to my Nook. I’ll be making a trip to the bookstore! Have a great Tuesday!

  • Rebecca @ Blueberry Smiles
    June 5, 2012 at 7:11 am

    I read an excerpt a few months ago and pretty much burst into tears on the spot. Kelly’s a beautiful writer. I put the book on hold at the library a week ago, patiently waiting for it to come in……

  • Michal
    June 5, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Have you read Expecting Adam by Martha Beck? It’s also about a mom who finds out her unborn child has Down’s, and it’s an amazing read that I often think of, years later.

  • Julie
    June 5, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Loved this book!

  • carrie
    June 5, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Have you heard of, or read Kisses From Katie? About a girl who has committed her life to God’s work in Africa – she’s amazing. Now that’s a book that will change your life. Read it, you’ll love it!

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    June 5, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I’ve have read Kellee’s blog posts from her daughter’s birth. As a mother, my heart was filled with so many emotions. She has a gift. I’d love to read her book but I’m afraid I’d never get through it!

  • Abby
    June 5, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this book! Definitely going to read.

  • Mo
    June 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    This sounds beautiful! I can’t wait to read it. I have always had a feeling that one of God’s purposes for me is to take care of a child with Down Syndrome, and I bet this book would really touch a soft spot for me. 🙂 Thanks for the review!

  • Jenna
    June 5, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Added it to my list. My husbands parents and sister have adopted several special needs children so I know this would hit a personal cord!!

  • polly
    June 5, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    that is next up!!!!! 🙂 I am currently reading Grace for the Good Girl, per recommendation of Sarah (Mama Pea).

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    June 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Life changer?

  • Kelly @ My Love Affair With Running
    June 5, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Nothing beats a good book 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Joy D.
    June 6, 2012 at 1:41 am

    This book sounds amazing. I’m an adoption advocate who lives in China and tries to find families for kids with Downs, among other things. I have seen first hand what precious treasures they are. They have an extra gene, and I do believe it’s a “Happy Gene.” Any book that brings more positive awareness of these remarkable kids is worth reading! 🙂

    • K
      June 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      “Happy Gene” Joy, what a beautiful observation of a scientific explanation.

  • Jess
    June 6, 2012 at 2:29 am

    Hey Jenna, I haven’t read this book, but have read one that sounds similar. It’s amazing and I’ve been raving about it since I read it in January. It’s called “A Good and Perfect Gift” and it’s by Amy Julia Becker. She is an amazing writer and the story of her family and her daughter, Penny is so touching. She has a great blog as well and writes about issues such as faith, disabilities, and much more. You should look into the book. It is wonderful!! I’m definitely going to look into “Bloom” as well! Thanks for sharing! Love your blog 🙂

  • Nicole
    June 6, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I came across Kelle’s blog the other night after seeing her interview on The Happiness Project site. I have a close friend whose daughter has Down’s Syndrome and as I read about the birth of her daughter on her blog, I knew I wanted to read the book ASAP!

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed
    June 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Ahhhh this book is waiting for me right now. I purchased it but I’m the world’s slowest reader so I’m still finishing another book! Love her writing on the blog!