Book Review - Katherine Preston: Out With It - How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice 

Independent Living

Out With It - How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice by Katherine Preston is a women’s personal journey through life while learning how to live with her stutter. This book gives friends and family a deep, insightful look at how individuals with a stutter navigate through the world. Katherine Preston, the author and narrator, gives an honest and heartfelt account of the difficulties of her life, emotions and how she coped with them. 

All young adults should read this book, including those who have a stutter and feel as if nobody understands how they feel or what they are going through. Preston talks about all the emotions she experiences from shame, disappointment, feelings of failure and feeling trapped. She also talks about the bravery, courage, and determination she had to overcome the obstacles she faced. We see how the difficulties that Preston experienced made her into the accomplished women she is today.

Preston brings us along her journey from the moment she realized she had a stutter to her flourishing as an author and business owner. We first see Preston when she was 7 years old her stutter showed. She tells us about how her parents’ concerns and their idea of seeing a speech therapist. Even at 7 years old, Preston did not want to be labeled; she wanted to run away.  

Along the way we read as Preston goes to school and how she dealt with stuttering in front of her peers. She tells the audience how she would only talk when it was necessary and how she rushed home after school so she did not have to engage with friends. Preston describes the reactions she received from people, and the comments they would make, such as “Did you forget your name?” We also she how she handles learning that she will not outgrow her stutter, as most children with a stutter do. This fueled Preston even more. 

When Preston was 24, she received a promotion at her job, she was climbing the corporate ladder; but was not satisfied with life. She gave up her career, left England, and head to American in search of a cure and to write her book. What was initially a search for a cure brought Preston on a transformative journey Preston started interviewing therapists, and stutterers; she wanted to hear their journey and what motivated them. She complied her own experience and made it a book that she could share with the world. 

Preston put a lot of love and effort into writing Out With It. We feel her pain, cry, laugh, and smile with her as she moves through life. She interviewed many people who had shared their own experiences with stuttering. The interviewees included Bill Withers, a musician; Jeff Blitz, a computer programmer; Marc Shell, an English literature professor at Harvard University; and many more.  She collected resources, which Preston lists in the back of the book. She dedicated a lot of time to tell her story to help others.

This book in inspiring for all people. We recommend this book for individuals with a stutter, their family, friends, and providers. It is a well-written, fearless book that is guaranteed to stay with you long after reading. 

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