This is not a sponsored post, nor did I receive compensation. I received a complimentary copy of Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood by Kate Hopper for purposes of this review, as part of a blog book tour. All opinions and love for the book and the author, are my own. And Kate wrote a lovely post about my reviewing her book. Seriously, I love this woman.
Ever read a book that made you hang onto the edge of the seat? One that also made you hold your breath while you turned the page, the anticipation of the next paragraph, next chapter, almost painful? One that made you cry, smile, gasp? Ready for Air by Kate Hopper did just that.
I blitzed through Ready for Air, as I found myself invested in Kate’s story about Stella, born too soon at 32 weeks. The need to know what came next urged me on into the wee hours of the night. Some of the language is frightening – preeclampsia, preemie, sepsis – and many of the images, stark, vivid, and very much every mother’s greatest fear – that of the NICU, needles and tubes through tiny babies, the very unknown of what the next day, next night brings.
Kate weaves her words in such a way that you feel what she feels. She brings you into those moments of fear, anger, guilt, joy and contentment. I have never been a mother of a preemie, although I’ve had two cousins give birth to very tiny babies (one at 30 weeks, he was as small as a kitten). I was frightened for them, but never felt connected to how truly scary it can be. I had no idea what it was like for a mother to look on their child in an isolette in the hospital, worried about touching them in case they jolt an IV. I could not fathom what it must have been for my cousins as they worried about every alarm that went off. Kate brought me right into each step of her journey from giving birth, navigating the NICU, to the early and exhausting days of motherhood, and her relationships with her husband and family.
If you read any memoir this year, I urge you to pick up Kate’s book. It’s not just about the frightening aspects of prematurity – it’s about motherhood and love. And who doesn’t love a book about love? Thank you, Kate, for sharing your story with us.
Kate Hopper is the author of Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood and Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers. Kate holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota and has been the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant, and a Sustainable Arts Grant. Her writing has appeared in a number of journals, including Brevity, Literary Mama, Poets & Writers, and The New York Times online. She is an editor at Literary Mama. She teaches online and at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. For more information about Kate’s writing and teaching, visit her website.
NICU Book Giveaway
As a part of the blog book tour, Kate would love it if you could suggest NICUs or Hospital Resource Centers that you think would benefit from a free copy of Ready for Air. Please comment on this post on Kate’s blog with the name and address of the hospital, specifying whether it goes to the NICU or family resource center. When the blog tour ends on November 4, Kate will randomly pick 15 hospitals to receive signed copies of Ready for Air.
Ready for Air Book Club Contest
Kate wants to come to your book club! Enter your club to win one of three Skype or phone chats with the author to discuss her memoir. To enter the contest, please e-mail presspr<at> umn<dot>edu with the subject line “Ready for Air Book Club Contest,” and include a few sentences about why you’d like to have Kate visit your book club via Skype (or, if you’re in the Twin Cities, in person). Contest deadline: October 31st.
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