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Anchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected Paperback – July 1, 2015
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"Aimee's writing is vulnerable, accessible, and warmly humorous." - Publisher's Weekly
From the Back Cover
"Kayla Aimee makes the reader a friend by letting us laugh and cry with her story, as if we were in it ourselves. Her nuanced and enjoyable story is beautifully uplifting for any stage of life." -Sara Hagerty, author of Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet
"A remarkable story that reminds us there is no such thing as "ordinary" when it comes to motherhood." - Lisa-Jo Baker, author of Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom
"All mothers will relate to Kayla Aimee's fierce love of her daughter in this must-read memoir. Her writing is the perfect blend of passion, grace and humor that had me laughing and crying throughout the book." - Jessica Turner, author of The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You
"Women will find themselves in this love story from mother to child. This is a story that needs to be told." - Dawn Camp, author of The Beauty of Grace: Stories of God's Love from Today's Most Popular Writers
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I say that to say that I expected that I would know this story, and that it would be a recap of her blog. I almost didn't buy the book because I thought it would just be a reprint of what I've already read.
It's still signature Kayla, with a mastery of story telling that will lead you from hysterical stitches to tears and back again so quickly, you'll find yourself unsure of what just happened. But there is a depth and vulnerability in this book that is more intimate, personal, and carefully woven. She never challenges the reader to change her own mind about something she may believe or have experienced. However, the way in which she presents the things that changed, shaped, or challenged her is so real, and normal, that your guard is down and you can unthreateningly examine the conclusions and experiences your own life has made in response to pain and sorrow. Kayla is not preachy, and a lot of times I thought I was just reading a nice story, and then "bam!" something so poignant it caught my breath in my chest would jump right off the page at me. I have many doggeared pages to read again at another time. I read the book in less than one day because it was so easy to read with her. Even though I already knew how the story "ends" (up to this point), I could not stop reading.
Kayla's book is not just for NICU Mommies. If you or someone you love has ever faced despair, or if you simply want to read witness to how one woman walking in grace learned to face her despair, this book is for you. Read it, savor it, be encouraged by it, be challenged by it, and join me in appreciating Kayla's wise stewardship of the story that has been given to her.
Kayla's story in "Anchored" did not disappoint. And while I'd thought she had been so graciously vulnerable and transparent on her blog, She opens that private door even wider in this book, bravely allowing the reader in to be privy to some of her deepest fears and struggles. Not only in trying to grasp her never-imagined role as a NICU mom to a critically ill child, but also to the the inevitable struggles someone in her situation (or any trauma) faces in their marriage and even their faith. She gets real and I so appreciate that. But what I also love is her sensitivity to the reader in sharing so vividly her days in the NICU. She ties the story together with moments of poignancy and humor, adding a necessary levity when most needed. I came to tears many times throughout this heart-wrenching story. And I laughed and shook my head in wonder as well. I could not put it down - even though I very well knew the ending.
This book is about love and grace and questioning God and finding out what you're made of. It's about coming to terms with what you've been given in life. This book is hard, yet honest and inspiring. Above all, it is about hope - looking for hope, finding it and holding on to it through it all.
I'm the type of person who typically avoids any type of story that involves something traumatic or extra tough, ESPECIALLY if it involves a child. My mama bear emotions just fall to pieces at the mere thought of sad things involving little ones.
And yet, Kayla didn't have to just read this book, as I was a bit frightened to do; she had to write it. And the wrote it because she had to live through it. She is such a gentle and caring guide as she walks you through the hardest thing she has ever had to endure, and she makes it so that "sad story-averse" folks like me can absolutely get through this book, and even stay up late to finish it because as it turns out, she shares a story that nobody really wanted, but that all of us really need. Brutiful, indeed.
It's one of the best books I've read in a LONG time.