Author: Kelly Kittel
First copyright date: 2014
Type of book: Losing children, faith, eastern state meets western state, marriage, family troubles, lack of respect, 1990s, large family, grief, hope
General subject matter: Shortly after the birth of Noah, Kelly experiences loss and death throughout her life, teaching her valuable lessons as well as finally being able to do something about it.
Special features: N/A
Kelly Kittel never questioned her Mayflower Society mantra—“Family is the most important thing”—until the day her fifteen-month-old son was run over by her sixteen-year-old niece. Nine months later, Kittel’s doctor made a terrible mistake during her subsequent pregnancy and she found herself burying yet another baby. Caught up in the maelstrom of a malpractice lawsuit, Kittel and her husband battle not only the medical system, but their own relatives, in the courtroom. As their family tree begins to topple, the Kittels struggle to nourish the roots of their young family and find healing. Achingly raw and beautifully narrated, Breathe is a story of motherhood, death, and family in the face of unspeakable tragedy and, ultimately, how she learns to breathe again.
"Telling the story of my sons is the last thing I can do for them besides carry their cells to my grave. My story isn't always pleasant, though it has many joyful moments. And it may not always be believable, because truth is stranger than fiction. But if you need a kindred spirit to help you untangle the weave of your own undeniable grief or family drama, know that I wrote this for you." (ix)
a. Why did the author write on this subject rather than on some other subject?
I would guess that the author's purpose is two-fold in writing the story: I think first she wrote it in memory of Noah and Jonah and the second reason she might have written is a way of having people connect who also have lost children.
b. From what point of view is the work written?
The story is written in first person narrative point of view. What I also am trying to say is that the events are seen through her eyes and not anyone else's.
I think that she is trying to give information in the book, or at least describe her point of view of what happened and how her husband's family members behaved and did.
d. What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it? (Use outside sources to familiarize yourself with the field, if necessary.) Knowledge of the genre means understanding the art form. and how it functions.
The book itself is non-fiction, a memoir, a tale of loss and how each person handled the events. I found it a very beautiful and touching tale.
e. Who is the intended audience?
The intended audience would be those who lost children, or else are dealing with very difficult and disrespectful family members.
f. What is the author's style? Is it formal or informal? Evaluate the quality of the writing style by using some of the following standards: coherence, clarity, originality, forcefulness, correct use of technical words, conciseness, fullness of development, fluidity. Does it suit the intended audience?
The writing style is informal as well as very raw and emotional. I am in awe that she took so many bittersweet moments and somehow weaved them into an amazing narrative.
g. Scan the Table of Contents, it can help understand how the book is organized and will aid in determining the author's main ideas and how they are developed - chronologically, topically, etc.
The book itself is about 366 pages and is divided into three sections, each named after her sons. There is a prologue and an epilogue. The story itself is chronological, shortly beginning after the birth of Noah and ending with Isaiah, although she does make a jump into how Bella was born.
g. How did the book affect you? Were any previous ideas you had on the subject changed, abandoned, or reinforced due to this book? How is the book related to your own course or personal agenda? What personal experiences you've had relate to the subject?
I doubt I'll ever look at death the same way again. When death comes around in one's life, that person is attached to someone and its difficult to let go. Kelly questions the "good" time for death, and ultimately she realizes that death doesn't have a good time. In an odd way too, the book also seemed some kind of etiquette guide for those who mourn.
h. How well has the book achieved its goal?
The goal was captured very well because Kelly draws very vivid scenes and pictures and makes her experience seem real and human. Although from the blurb I knew what was going to happen, it's still a heartbreaking experience to read these events. She has also done an amazing job in capturing grief and how the mourners feel. There's something real and raw in the book.
i. Would you recommend this book or article to others? Why?
I actually would recommend the book to others because I imagine that her memoir will draw up a lot of debates and topics about uncomfortable issues of death, family conflict, mourning, coming to terms with the cards that were dealt and so forth.
a. Theme: The theme is the subject or topic. It is not necessarily the title, and it is usually not expressed in a complete sentence. It expresses a specific phase of the general subject matter.
Whatever life has handed to someone, that person must somehow deal with the bad and the good
b. Thesis: The thesis is an author’s generalization about the theme, the author’s beliefs about something important, the book’s philosophical conclusion, or the proposition the author means to prove. Express it without metaphor or other figurative language, in one declarative sentence.
I am honestly having a difficult time coming up with the thesis for the book. Often, things don't go as planned or as hoped, but sometimes what is taken away can be given in different ways.5 out of 5
Connect with Kelly
Purchase LinksTLC Book Tour
Kelly Kittel’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Wednesday, June 4th: Bound By Words
Thursday, June 5th: Bookchickdi
Monday, June 9th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, June 10th: Books a la Mode – guest post “Noah’s Name”
Wednesday, June 11th: Deckled Edge Books - review and guest post “Golden Birthday”
Thursday, June 12th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Monday, June 16th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Wednesday, June 18th: Perks of Being a JAP
Thursday, June 19th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, June 23rd: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, June 24th: Stitch Read Cook – author guest post “A Day in the Life”
Wednesday, June 25th: Simple Inspiration
Monday, June 30th: Bookish Ardour
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)