Recommended Reading: Ready for Air by Kate Hopper and Giveaways!
By Hallie Sawyer on October 30, 2013
She is the color of the moon, pale against a night sky. - Kate Hopper, Ready for Air
Ready for Air, published by University of Minnesota Press - Sept. 27, 2013, is a book I don't think I would've picked up if I hadn't been asked to be part of Kate Hopper's book blog tour. Not because I didn't think it wouldn't be good or not worth my time, but because the content was something that I wouldn't have thought I could relate to or even enjoy.
If I hadn't picked it up, I would have missed out on a wonderful book. After I read it, I truly valued the opportunity I gained to see motherhood from a different perspective of what so many parents go through, told truthfully and with raw emotion. Her emotional retelling gave it the power to reach deep inside me and immersed me into a well of profound understanding.
Kate's memoir focuses on her time just previous to delivering her first child and the many complications surrounding it and through the weeks and months following. She had gone into preterm labor due to her severe preeclampsia and her life went from still trying to choose a car seat to fearing for her life and that of her unborn child.
Her story drew me in from the very beginning as I understood the pregnancy jitters and the worries of being a mother-to-be. Even though I delivered three healthy full-term babies, Kate's story had me flipping pages, wipe away tears, and furrow my brow as if Kate was right there retelling it to me sitting on my couch. I caught myself praying for Stella and hoping she was going to be alright, even though I knew through Kate's blog posts that she has grown into healthy young girl. How engrossed I became into Kate's world shows how wonderful she is as a storyteller and writer.
Here are a couple of my favorite passages:
Sunset is my favorite time of day there [referring to her mom's cabin in northern Minnesota]. I love the feeling of hovering at the edge of dusk, when most of the lake is cast in shadow, but the sunlight is still held in the closed fists of thunderheads and in the trees along the south shore, the pines and ash glowing with intensity. I wish I could drive for hours across the flat expanse of the Midwest and lose myself in the changing sky ahead of me.
My world has become so small: home and the hospital and the roads in between. And apparently this is the only world in which I'm capable of living right now.
As I read about their post-delivery turmoil, sitting in the NICU watching their three pound baby struggle minute by minute, hour by hour, I couldn't help but think of all the people I knew personally that had also gone through premature deliveries and wondered if they had felt the same way. If they had gone through the same day to day worry and stress as Kate and her husband Donny. If they had wondered if their lives would ever "normal" again. And sadly, I saw how ignorant I was of all of it.
This book is a wonderful reminder of how precious life is and how easily it can take a sharp turn, no matter how careful we are and how much we try to plan. This is a great book for all women, not just mothers, as well as men as it gives an honest and heartfelt view of the lives of probably someone we all can relate to in one way or another.
I'm honored to have been asked to be a stop on her book blog tour and highly encourage you to read this book, and if not for you, it would make a great gift for I'm sure someone you know. I'll make it very easy for you; you can purchase a copy by clicking on the following locations:
Ready for Air Book Club Contest
Kate Hopper, author of Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood and Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. (Only 2 days left!)
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 www.katehopper.com.
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