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Jewel by Bret Lott


by Bret Lott

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1,657147,007 (3.28)23
In the backwoods of Mississippi, a land of honeysuckle and grapevine, Jewel and her husband, Leston, are truly blessed; they have five fine children. When Brenda Kay is born in 1943, Jewel gives thanks for a healthy baby, last-born and most welcome. Jewel is the story of how quickly a life can change; how, like lightning, an unforeseen event can set us on a course without reason or compass. In this story of a woman's devotion to the child who is both her burden and God's singular way of smiling on her, Bret Lott has created a mother-daughter relationship of matchless intensity and beauty, and one of the finest, most indomitable heroines in contemporary American fiction.… (more)



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I really wanted to like this book. A friend really loved it. So they thought I might enjoy it. The subject matter was very near to my heart. Being I worked 7 year's with MHMR Youth's. So I thought for sure this would be a very moving and inspiring novel. Unfortunately it fell very flat.

The story is about Jewel. A strong mother of I believe it was 6 children. Married to a hard working man. It begins in 1943 and spans several year's. It tells the tale of all the hardships Jewel has faced throughout her life before and after the birth of her disabled daughter Brenda Kay.

This book was very difficult for me to immerse myself in. I am a huge speed reader. I normally would finish this book in a day. It has taken me 6. Very slow paced. A lot of irrelevant information. Prose is a bit too much. Ultra cheesy at times. Jumps back and fourth way too much. Without ever actually building up to anything. Very melancholy.

As a mother of 4 myself, and have worked so long with special needs, I find this family portrayal inaccurate. Jewel as a character falls extremely short to me. She was not very likeable. Her main priority is always Brenda. Even at the expense of the rest of her family. As a mother you would find a way to achieve all for the good of all your children. She just wasn't believable to me. Her Character was incredibly depressing too. There is no hope throughout the novel. Only enduring.

Unfortunately I can't endure it any longer.

( )
  LeahGreenClark | Oct 28, 2018 |
I bought this book over a decade ago and I had no time to read it then. Recently I found this while I was decluttering and I was thinking of just donating this. But my mind says that I should at least give this a chance to be read.

I was not disappointed on this wonderful novel. This novel is rich about a lot of Jewel's stories from her experiences with her mom, dad, grandmother, school, colored people such as Cathedral, up to her husband Leston and children.

I can see a that there are a lot of not-so-good past reviews and thank goodness that I didn't succumb on believing them right away. I trust my judgment on why not I should give this a try and it didn't failed to amuse me. The author is really good on narrating in a woman's point of view and every phase on Jewel's life makes you anticipate what will happen next. ( )
  fugou | Aug 14, 2017 |
Rich writing and yet in a homey way. Jewel's story reaches from her childhood to old age with all the various things that happen in lives, told in compelling ways and with exquisite attention to detail. The author gives us a profound understanding of the characters, of all of us really.

The last-born child in this family has Down's Syndrome, at a time in the mid-twentieth century when not as much was known about it. The story takes place in both Mississippi and California. The tender moments and gentle humor will make the reader smile, and other moments will incite other emotions and drama. There seems to be a little bit of most of us in this book. ( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |

When Jewel gives birth to Brenda Kay, her 6th child, she has all the love and hope any parent of a newborn has. But Brenda Kay has Down's syndrome and Jewel's life is then devoted to "fixing" it. In the process she loses her husband (in heart if not in reality) and much of herself. Well-written. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 26, 2016 |
Jewel, her husband, and their five children live in the backwoods of Mississippi. Then they have a child born with Down Syndrome, her husband's job is no longer steady, and they begin a long a difficult road. Jewel is stubborn and tireless in her efforts to save her daughter and her family. ( )
  phyllis.shepherd | Jan 11, 2015 |
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And this is the father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

—John 6:39

How unsearchable his judgments, and his ways past finding out.

—Romans 11:33
For the true jewel, Myrtis Jewel Purvis Lott
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I was born in 1904, so that when I was pregnant in 1943 I was near enough to be past the rightful age to bear children.
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Average: (3.28)
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