Jewel by Bret Lott
finished: April 6, 2008
Jewel Hilburn had a difficult childhood. From watching her father walk away from her and her mother, to finding her place in the world as an orphan, she is always trying to overcome the hardships life keeps throwing at her. However, she marries a good man and has five healthy children. Though she and her family live in the backwoods of Mississippi, World War II is a blessing in disguise as there is abundant work for the war effort, and therefore, plenty of money. Jewel is content with her life.
When she gives birth close to the age of 40 to a baby girl, her life changes drastically. Her daughter, Brenda Kay has Down's Syndrome and is not expected to live past the age of 2.With the war over, there is no work and no money. Instead of wallowing in despair, Jewel finds a way to have food on the table and money for the shots the doctors say Brenda Kay needs.
Jewel spends the majority of her life struggling to rise above the many difficulties she is faced with. She maintains an optimistic attitude and faith in God, and has unconditional love for all her children and her husband. Though she is not perfect, she devotes her life to her family, and mainly to Brenda Kay. When she is old, she realizes, "My life would never end...because of those eyes turned to me and asking what to do...the looking of a child...to you for what wisdom you can give away before you left for whatever reckoning you had with the God who'd given you that wisdom in the first place" (352). This is what she lived for--giving all she had to her children.
I never really know what to expect when reading an Oprah's book club book. Though Jewel wasn't a fluffy, warm fuzzy story, I did enjoy reading it. Though some of the non-PC terminology could probably make some readers cringe, the diction Lott chooses really brings the characters from Mississippi to life. Though I do not know anyone who has experienced the same specific circumstances that Jewel Hilburn faces, reading the book brought to mind several women I know who have kept the same optimism throughout extreme difficulties. It really makes me thankful for the comforts I had as a child and the loving mother I am blessed with!
Monday, April 7, 2008
Jewel by Bret Lott
Posted by Laura at 9:57 PM