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When the child is finally born, it seems that Cathedral's prediction was empty: the baby appears normal in every way. As the months go by, however, Jewel becomes increasingly afraid that something is wrong with little Brenda Kay--she doesn't cry, she doesn't roll over, she's hardly ever awake. Eventually husband and wife take the baby to the doctor and are informed that she is a "Mongolian Idiot," not expected to live past the age of 2. Jewel angrily rebuffs the doctor's suggestion that they institutionalize Brenda Kay. Instead the Hilburns shoulder the burdens--and discover the unexpected joys--of living with a Down's syndrome child.
Bret Lott has written a novel that spans decades, follows the lives of several characters, and cuts back and forth between Mississippi and California. Given these challenges, a lesser writer might lose focus. Lott, however, has wisely chosen to keep his eye trained on Jewel--a narrator who is smart, perceptive, and above all, honest. He has also bucked the trend toward political correctness by allowing his characters to think, feel, and talk the way white Mississippians of that era would have. ("Mongolian Idiot," "nigger," "cracker," and "buck" are just a few of the epithets sprinkled throughout the text.) The language may be discomforting to some readers. Few will deny, however, that Bret Lott has crafted a clan that is all heart in this bittersweet paean to the enduring strength of familial love. --Margaret Prior
I couldn't put this book down. It's an intimate look at this woman's life.Published 2 months ago by Emily Needham
Yes I would recommend it to others. It takes in a life to the end. The right or wrong decision that are made.. it gives more understanding of families with retarded children. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
Good story but a little slow. Also dark. Not many happy "parts". I would recommend it to someone who has a child with Down syndrome defintly.Published 6 months ago by Sandy Mcginty
Lots of thinking about life and the way it leads us down the many paths that we ourselves choose but life always there to show us something to see if we are willing to look.Published 7 months ago by Jan Holmes
Rather slow and drawling, and I think a little unnecessarily long, but altogether alright. Didn't love it, didn't hate it.Published 8 months ago by goal13keep