Tanya W's Reviews > The Year My Son and I Were Born: A Story of Down Syndrome, Motherhood, and Self-Discovery

The Year My Son and I Were Born by Kathryn Lynard Soper
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's review
Jan 23, 12

it was ok
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read from October 18, 2011 to January 23, 2012

Great book so far, very thoughtful and easy to relate to. That was how I felt after reading the first couple of chapters... but now it's far from favorite reading. It seems more about Ms. Soper and her Post-Partum Depression and personal mental health (which she finally starts to deal with through medication 2/3 of the way through the book... all the while putting down people who turn to meds to deal with mental health issues... go figure).

For some reason I sometimes feel guilty doing a negative book review... I had such high expectations starting this book. But now that I'm 2/3 of the way through, I'm forcing myself to finish (I'm looking forward to the epiphanies coming up... they must be coming up based on the title). If Ms. Soper were able to find a way to compress the first 200 pages into 60, I could like it a lot more... but 200 pages of "Woe is me, no one can say or do anything right, blah, blah, blah" is just too much (and it doesn't look like that will end anytime soon).

It also gets tiresome the way she stereotypes other people (especially people at her church). There seems to be something wrong about the things she writes about both the failing of others and herself, making her come across as an extremely judgmental person. It's hard to do, but we all have had multiple people in our lives who have said the wrong thing on occasion... to publish it is less than ideal... especially since we ourselves have said the wrong thing, and I can tell by her writing that she has probably been an unintentional offender on many occasions.

I suppose this is a fairly realistic writing on the adjustment to having the unexpected and in some ways unwanted child. It seemed to me that she took way too long to embrace it. One side of me can feel a lot of understanding since I am overwhelmed with four children (without any "disabilities", although extremely challenging nevertheless). But another side of me dislikes all the attention she puts on herself when so many others embrace and deal with a special needs children with more dignity, and don't get any special attention for doing it. In fact, I told a friend of mine with a Down's child that I was reading this book... and now I hope she never reads it, because I think she would not like the book... she is one who has embraced her "special job" from the beginning. I would be surprised if she had ever felt self-pity (but if she did she got over it pretty darn fast).

Even though I don't like the book, it does seem that Ms. Soper has developed and grown into a better person from her personal experiences. Hopefully others who have an initially very difficult time with accepting a special needs child will get through it more easily with some idea of the better things to come.

Will add more later when I finish.

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