Thursday, April 16, 2009

Book Review: The Year My Son and I Were Born

The Year My Son and I Were Born by Kathryn Lynard Soper is a memoir (yes, another memoir . . . have I mentioned how much I love a good memoir? much to my friend Julia's chagrin . . .) by a mother covering the first year of her son's life - her son who has Down syndrome. There are some other dominating themes in the story as well: the struggles of caring for a large family (I can relate; she has seven kids, I'm one shy of that); her Mormon faith; and postpartum depression. Honestly, I thought the first half+ of the book was dominated more by her struggle with PPD than by Down syndrome. She's extremely honest and forthright about her struggles to come to terms with her son's diagnosis, and I related to a lot of it, but other things, not so much. But it goes without saying that everyone's experience is unique. The book certainly had me turning pages past my bedtime every night (which is how I got it read in a week). Definitely worth reading.


heather said...

So you really think it is worth reading? I have to be honest...I was kinda turned off by it when I first heard about it because I felt like it was a copycat book of The Road Map. I guess I might find the mormon culture stuff interesting since I share that common bond with her as well. You know how limited our time is and reading is hard to come by for me (unless on vacay or on blogs!) so tell me if you think it's worth my time!

Jen said...

I kind of felt the same way as you...a good book, written well, I guess. I certainly finished it quickly (which is no small feat for me, since the only time I have to read is right before bed and usually I fall asleep), so that says something. But I couldn't quite connect with it, somehow. It might have been all of the religious stuff; I have a hard time relating to that. And the PPD...I never struggled with that either. So. A good read, but I related so much better to Road Map.

Jen said...

And another thing...even though the book was about Thomas, he seemed secondary to the plot, you know? I never felt a connection to him or felt like he was the focus. I never felt like I knew anything about him as a person. Which I guess could be hard to portray with a new baby, but still. He seemed on the periphery somehow.

SunflowerMom said...

It was good to read your review, I just ordered a copy yesterday when I re-ordered copies of Gifts for my local support group.

I, too, feel like the timing of her book is less than ideal- too close to the release of Roadmap. I also wonder if there is a call for yet another book about the first year of a Ds dx. There are already so many similar books out there.

However, I know that Kathryn worked on her book roughly the same time as Jennifer GG did, before the release of Gifts. It just took longer to finish and sell to a publisher.

I'm interested in seeing what she writes.

Chrystal said...

This one is on my to-read list so I appreciate the review. Being someone who has limited time to read as well, it's disappointing to hear that it didn't knock you off your feet. I had such high expectations. Actually, I always do with books that have Ds as a subject matter.