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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

WITH ALL THE PIECES by Kasie Ballard

Published March 9th 2016 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Read: May 2016
How I Got It: Paperback (402 pages) from Amazon

*Disclaimer: I know the author of this book. We were close childhood friends, and we have crossed paths several times as adults. Unfortunately, location and life got in the way of our friendship, but I follow her family's trials and triumphs on her personal Facebook page. 

In her debut novel, Kasie Ballard portrays her trying journey into motherhood. After a stillbirth and a miscarriage, Kasie finds herself pregnant with her son, Alex. It is discovered that something is wrong with Alex, and Kasie has to make many difficult decisions, often against doctors’ suggestions, to advocate for herself and her son. Alex is born breathing, but Kasie knows that is only the first hurdle. Alex is a special needs child with mental and physical delays, and Kasie details what it means to wait for answers (if there are any) and how to deal with ignorant people and dismissive doctors.  She even brings up some difficult emotions that may be taboo yet relatable such as jealousy over her friends’ easy deliveries with living babies and guilt about having another child when already a special needs mom.

Through her family, faith, and ferocity, Kasie is the mother of two thriving boys (and one heavenly guardian angel). The story is moving; it makes readers laugh, cry, and cringe. However, the writing was a bit distracting. There were multiple grammar mistakes such as use of the wrong pronouns and sentences with missing words. Also, much of the story takes place at a hospital “all the way in Richmond” but only once, late in the story, is the actual distance mentioned; readers unfamiliar with the area would not understand this detail.  Ultimately, this story is emotional and well-timed, but the multiple writing errors distract from an otherwise powerful story. 

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