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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
The book was a bit slow moving at times too.
Except for the main character, Jewel, there is very little development or even interesting dialog exchanged between any of the other characters.
It is not a page-turner and in the end, I just felt like why did anyone bother to write this story that goes no where?
One of the best books I have ever read! It is a complete page turner and was difficult to put down. I am hoping for a sequel to find out what happens with the Jewel's... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
The story was engrossing and transportive. The author did a great job of moving between memories and the book's current time and including the author in the narrative. Read morePublished 2 months ago by lisa beth adams
I was reading this book for my book club. I got the book in paperback, however, the club meeting was quickly approaching and I had not read that much. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dani
If you have ever been in the south, the descriptions fit it to a tea. Truly a heartwarming story that tell you there are no limits to a mothers lovePublished 8 months ago by Stormy
I did not read the entire book because of the excessive use of the "N" word. They all had names and the vernacular was written when they spoke, but never the other people. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Reader
Bret Lott's style of writing is so lyrical. Jewel is a great read and it has made me a lifetime Bret Lott fan.Published 9 months ago by M. Robinson
I was not very impressed at first. But as the book progressed it was extremely beautiful in values and sound principles. Opra's selections do not dissappoint. Full of humanity.Published 10 months ago by Loubr
I think the book Jewel that later became a tv movie starring Farrah Fawcett was so touching and well acted. Read morePublished 15 months ago by George B. Mallory
This is one of the best books I have read in a very long time. From the time I picked it up and started to read it I had difficulty putting it down. Read morePublished 17 months ago by debbieleigh