Book Review: Storm of Hope


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This is my stop during the book blitz for Storm of Hope by Leila Tualla. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 1 till 7 August. See the tour schedule here.

Storm of HopeStorm of Hope
By Leila Tualla
Genre: Non Fiction/ Inspirational/ memoir/ poetry
Release Date: 21 July, 2017

Blurb:
Storm of Hope: God, Preeclampsia, Depression and me is a memoir told in journal entries and poetry from a mom who was diagnosed with preeclampsia. The diagnosis with her second pregnancy propelled the author into a “postpartum forest where the trees of doubt, sorrow, anger and rage loomed all around me.” What becomes to the author and her second baby gives way to hope and a way out of the darkness.


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Leila TuallaAbout the Author:
Leila Tualla is a Filipino American writer, poet, and Christian author. She is a preeclampsia survivor and advocate, and blogs about “life after preeclampsia,” at www.tuallaleila.blogspot.com. After her second baby, Leila had postpartum depression. She is thankful that her family and those who supported her, stood with her and helped pull her out of her darkness. Her faith in Christ was, and continues to be, her daily lifeline. Leila is humbled daily by God’s saving grace.

When she's not writing about her preeclampsia or postpartum journey, or chasing after her tiny miracle bosses, she can also be found buried in books. Leila reads various novels throughout the year and her book reviews can be found at www.leilatualla.com.

You can find and contact Leila Tualla here:
- Website
- Blog
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Instagram

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Storm of Hope. One winner will win a signed paperback copy of Storm of Hope by Leila Tualla. US Only.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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My Review:

As most of you know, I've been teaching creative writing workshops to kids for the past year. A lot of those classes are about poetry. While I've always been primarily a fiction writer (and secondarily a journalist), teaching poetry has helped me gain a greater appreciation for it, and seek out more poems to read (and slam poetry performances to watch). So I was really excited to find that Storm of Hope was, at least in part, a poetry collection.

The poems resemble journal entries, as Tualla documents the struggles she goes through during her difficult pregnancy. I was very impressed with the poems. Since I can't seem to turn off that "teacher" part of my brain, I couldn't help but notice that the poems included everything I'm always telling my students to use--rhythm, meter, alliteration, repetition, consonance, and occasionally rhyme. But most importantly, they all included feeling, and authentic emotion.

In addition to the poems, I really liked that Tualla included some prose passages that discussed what she was going through. It helped give context to her poems, which then contributed more to her overall memoir.

Before reading this book, I had never heard of preeclampsia. I have tons of respect for Tualla for going through this, plus postpartum depression, and managing to maintain a positive outlook and find the light at the end of the tunnel. It has a really inspirational message, and I would recommend this book to anyone going through a difficult time, especially with health issues.

It's super important for books like this to exist. Often, the media can glamorize pregnancy, and make it look like a dream that every woman should want to go through. But there are so many complications and difficulties that can arise, and I really appreciate seeing an honest portrayal of them. I have never been pregnant or had a child myself, so it was really enlightening for me to get a clearer understanding of what can happen. For those like me who have never been pregnant, it's a great book to help you empathize with new mothers and what they may be going through.

I also think this is a really important book for men to read. Now, as a disclaimer, I'm not trying to be sexist here or generalize all men. But overall, a lot of men can be ignorant to the struggles women's bodies can face, simply because they've never had to worry about them before. I think men--especially men who have a pregnant wife/girlfriend--should read this book to get a clearer understanding of what can happen. I have gone through depression, and I can't imagine the burden of postpartum depression--being responsible for a new life, while struggling to find any motivation or self-worth yourself. New fathers need to gain an understanding of postpartum depression and how they can help.

The only criticism I have for this book is that I wish she went into more detail about what preeclampsia is. Like I mentioned, I'd never heard of it before, and I think it's super important that people get educated on women's health issues. I had to Google preeclampsia when I was done reading so that I had a better understanding of what she was going through. She did do a great job explaining the risks--apparently, preeclampsia greatly increases the risk of pregnancy-related death, which is terrifying. I could feel her fear when she went to the hospital one night, leaving behind a box of goodbye letters for her daughter in case she didn't return.

One of my favorite parts in this book was when Tualla mentioned how her pains weren't often taken seriously, and sometimes written off as just a normal side effect of pregnancy. Yet, she still went to the doctor every time she experienced anything abnormal. She said that she'd rather go to an appointment and find out nothing was wrong, rather than ignore something that could potentially kill her. This is a REALLY important message. I hate how often pregnant women's struggles are ignored, or not taken seriously, especially by (mostly male) doctors. I appreciate Tualla's insistence on getting help, and think others would do well to follow her example.

I've had a lot of female-specific health issues myself, most of them issues that lots of people haven't heard of, and as a result, insurance companies don't cover treatment for them. I hope that one day I can find the same level of courage Leila Tualla did to speak out about my struggles, so that I can educate people on women's health issues. Spreading the word about these things is the only way to help normalize them, and make it socially acceptable to get help.

I do recommend this book! If you read it, let me know what you thought of it!

Happy Monday!
Love,
Savy

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for the review! I love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!! I'm really glad you like the review and that you're enjoying my other blog posts as well! I'd be happy to read/review other books you write in the future! :)

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