Monday, November 17, 2008

Book Review: Up Close: A Mother’s View


My first blog book review!  After the Buddy Cruise I posted that I’d bought two books written by men with Ds whom I’d met on the cruise.  Shortly after that post I was contacted by Bunker Hill Publishing requesting a review of this newly released book Up Close: A  Mother’s View.  Of course I jumped at the chance because two of my loves put together is a great thing!  Reading and Down syndrome!  The other two book reviews will be coming soon :)

When Up Close: A Mother’s View arrived in the mail my first thought was “wow, this is a NICE QUALITY!”  This hard back book with a dust cover immediately draws your eye.  Then flipping through it I was captured by several of the photographs.  This book is a photographic journal with short tidbits of text on most opposing pages.  Full page photos show great detail and more than that, the obvious relationship and love between the subject- Ophir- and the photographer- her mother.

This book shows the raw emotions, not the buttered up thoughts, of a mother receiving a diagnosis of Down syndrome shortly after the birth of her first child and the next 12 years after that as together they suffered loss through miscarriage, the birth of another daughter, and life with Ophir and Noa.

As I read through the short entries about Ophir and her mother I thought on my own journey as well.  Some of it I could relate so well to.  Some is further down the road for me and as with all children as they’re so much different from one another, some things she experienced I couldn’t quite relate to, but I could understand.  After all, every journey is different and in the introduction the author is quick to point out that this is her journey, one that is different from everyone else’s just as each child is different from another.

This is a book of a beautiful photographic journey through the early years of the life of a family with a child with Ds!  It would make a great conversation starter for raising awareness with family members, grandparents, and friends since it so simply presents life and both the difficult and simply joyful parts of parenting a child with Down syndrome.   It is a great first- insight to life with a child with Ds and I believe would be a good addition to welcome baby packages for families receiving a diagnosis of Down syndrome.

I highly recommend Up Close: A Mother’s View to all parents, caregivers, family members, and community members that want to broaden their perspective and have an inside glimpse of a mother’s journey through childhood with her daughter.

Though the photography is beautiful and the subjects innocent and pure, this book does have several photos which are appropriately shot but depict nudity.  They are absolutely not inappropriate to the book or in the way they’re taken, but I think it’s important to mention that as I would not be comfortable having this book out when we have young boys or teenage guests that might decide to leaf through it.  Of course those of you that read my blog by now have figured out that I’m very much on the conservative side of that.  My husband, my children (yes, even Kristopher at his age would be fine seeing everything in the book), our parents- all of them will probably get to look through this book and read it.  My parents’ foster boys will not :)

I know that this Christmas season this book will be a great addition to many family gift lists!

Thank you, Bunker Hill Publishing, for allowing me the opportunity to get a ‘first look’ at this great book! 


  1. Meredith, is this the Fiona from London, England? She lives (or used to live) walking distance from William's Mum (if it is the one I'm thinking and she did have some *blush* photography in it and is a photographer actually.

    Just curious, it sounds like an interesting read!


  2. Lu, I think it may be, some of the remarks on the back of the book are from UK, not sure about her though. It was just published in October by Bunker Hill. Mom is a photographer :) Very neat that you may know her!