Book Review: Breathe

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Kelly Kittel’s focus was always on family, until the day her sixteen-year-old niece ran over her fifteen-month-old son. Nine months later, Kittel’s following pregnancy ended in the death of yet another child, due to a grave mistake made by her doctor. Her extended family’s meddling and unapologetic nature in the face of a malpractice lawsuit is shocking and heartbreaking.

Her niece refuses to acknowledge or apologize for her horrible mistake, and her sister-in-law (who is also their landlord) eventually evicts Kittel’s family from their home, and frequently expresses her frustration that she won’t just “get over” what happened. As time passes, her mother-in-law suggests that maybe the death of her child is, on some level, her own fault in some way.

Her malpractice suit, brought against the doctors who failed to notice her many telltale signs of abruption during the pregnancy that followed her son’s death, is infuriating to read about, as the doctors lie through their teeth about anything and everything, further pushing the increasingly popular opinion that Kittel is at fault.

As her family crumbles around her, Kittel draws her husband and remaining children closer together. Kittel’s description of her in-laws unmercifully turning on her is horrifying to read and difficult to believe. Her search for peace and healing in the face of her anguishing reality is both inspiring and gut wrenching. Throughout the book, Kittel’s calming religious perspective on the world and her family is challenged time and time again, but she when she begins to feel helpless, she also finds strength. Inspiring and heartbreaking, Breathe will take your breath away.

This book is recommended for anyone who has suffered a loss, had falling-outs with family, or sought justice through the legal system.


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