Falling into Place (Book) Review
Hattie Kauffman has seen so much in her lifetime. Poverty. Neglect. Hunger. Confusion. And yet she – and her siblings – have managed to rise above their humble beginnings. Falling into a Place is a memoir that covers many topics, all set in the midst of her troubling divorce from a man she had spent the last seventeen years of her life with. As she deals with problems and insecurities that arise from sharing a house with someone you are desperately trying to avoid, Hattie thinks back to all the things that have brought her to this stage in her life – good and bad – and puts them into an entirely new context as she changes the way she views the world around her.
Hattie Kauffman may be a name that sounds familiar, and with good reason. As a successful news correspondent, she has won an emmy, reported on issues all over the world, and been invited to the White House. She also holds the distinction of being the first Native American reporter to have appeared on a national broadcast, after her trip to Hawaii put her on location during an major story. While her professional life is interesting in its own rite, it is her personal life that defines this story – and rightly so, as Hattie Kauffman has led an unconventional life that is well worth reading about.
As a child, Hattie lived in abject poverty. As one of seven children born to a Native American mother and Caucasian father who were deep in the clutches of alcoholism, she grew up in a household where hunger and neglect were simply a part of life. She and her siblings were left alone for days at a time from a very young age, desperately searching for food and dealing with issues children shouldn’t have to face. From abuse and bullying to a parade of drunk strangers going in and out of their house, the Kauffman children learned to be independent and strong because they had to – but the lure of addiction was a constant after growing up in a household where alcohol was the answer for adults.
And yet, things weren’t all bad. There was a camaraderie and closeness between Hattie and her family that came from having to work as a team, and Hattie was presented with some very cool opportunities to step outside the projects and learn about the world. From a missionary aunt who taught her about God and took her to Mexico, to scholarships that gave her a taste of a different life, there were always good things popping up for Hattie – and as she deals with the divorce, she slowly beings to understand why.
Falling into Place is a gripping memoir that spans the decades of Hattie Kauffman’s unique life. From a childhood in abject poverty to a career spent traveling the globe, as Hattie looks back on her life she views things in a way that is both interesting and eye opening to those of us who have lived a very different sort of life. As she works her way through her issues, she shares the spiritual transformation that helped her to put it all in perspective, one day at a time.