14 April 2014

Book Review~ Falling Into Place: A Memoir of Overcoming

I was privileged to receive a copy of Falling into Place:  A Memoir of Overcoming, by Hattie Kauffman, for review.  It was released in paperback on April 1, 2014.  Hattie Kauffman was the first Native American to file a report on a national evening news broadcast, and went on to be a news anchor for ABC and the CBS.  She wrote this book while dealing with the emotions of going through a divorce, and explores how those feelings mirror ones she felt as a child, growing up poor and frightened and hungry.  The book is told in alternating passages from Hattie's childhood and her present day life.  Each chapter explores one theme or emotion, and the passages from each portion of her life reflect the parallels she sees.  These themes include reconciliation, home, overcoming, divorce, and faith.

Faith was a very prominent theme in this book, as through her divorce, Hattie explores religion and ultimately becomes a Christian.  Although it took her until late in life to really explore religion, there still were parallels with her childhood as she had an aunt who tried to teach her about Christianity.  While I found her story and journey interesting, this aspect of the book was also one that I had the most problem with.  The way that religion is written into the book increases dramatically at one point, and I had trouble following the story through all of the specifically religious things that punctuated (and ultimately overwhelmed) the text.  My perspective on this is as a non-Christian who is interested in learning about other religions; that is why I accepted this book for review.  But ultimately I felt as though this book was directed only at other Christians, and not at a broad audience like I was expecting.

Hattie does have a very interesting story and I think that certain parts of it will resonate with nearly any reader.  For example, the early part of her faith journey is something that I can relate to:  the sense of exploration and questions and discovery.  But there are so many components to her life that anyone can find something in this text that they also have experienced, whether it be family instability, divorce, friendships, hunger, or something else.  Hattie has not had an easy life- and that makes for both a compelling read, and a story that is very relatable.

Overall, I would say that the book is very well structured and written, but the content may turn off some readers who are not Christian due to the sheer amount of religious texts and analogies that are a large part of the last third of the book.

FTC Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own, and have not been influenced in any way.

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