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Jewel….No Mines injured in this novel…

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Look the truth is based on the title and the picture on the cover I probably would not have given this book a second glance but for the

“Oprah’s Book Club” stamp on the spine and front cover.


Seriously I tend to read mostly New York Times Best sellers or books that have won other awards.


So the fact that I even noticed the very faint “Oprah” stamp, was pure luck.



With a title like Jewel you think you may read a VC Andrews type novel, or something about a southern belle

when in reality

what you get

is a Mother

Dealing with her life

the best way she knows how


the story takes placer in the first half of the 20th century(starts in 1940’s)

and Jewel is

orphaned and deals with much in her younger years


She grows up in Mississippi, the daughter of an “mixed race couple”


but beyond that she lives a life unassuming and yet the novel pulls you forward  until the point

her final daughter is born.

Naming her Brenda Kay, she realizes several months after birth the girl is not growing right

and ends up being diagnosed with a disease or chronic condition as the case may be.


It speaks to me and should speak to all mothers whether they have children with chronic disease/condition or not.

Metaphorically  it hits the nail on the head

I’ve been the mom of a child with special needs(two children to be exact) and granted their special needs are of the severe food allergy and asthma variety…I’ve dealt with the changes those medical needs bring into daily life, I’ve been Jewel giving my  life to them and coming round to see that’s the way it needs to be…but none the less…life changing

“Jewel” speaks to how mothers often give up so much of their own life to help their child/ren have the best opportunities they can in life,

often fighting guilt

guilt toward the time unable to be spent with spouse and other children,

guilty for wishing and praying for things they should not

guilty for not being able to do more


and finally


coming to peace


with all they have done


a mother

is a mother always

and Bret Lott has done an exceptional job of sharing that with all the readers of  : Jewel


You can find Bret Lott on FaceBook and on the website for the college of  charleston

I have not picked up any of his other books… yet…

but they are on my “to read”  list.




About ellasurreau

I was first grade religious education catechist I have been teaching for 20 years I have a BA in Religious Studies I have continued taking classes in religious studies since graduating. I grew up Methodist, and became catholic after marrying.

One response »

  1. Pingback: Yes …..even this busy mom finds time to read | Me, A Mom

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