Friday, June 12, 2009

Jewel by Bret Lott (novel)

For those that don't know me, my name is Chrystal and I have an almost two year old daughter who was diagnosed with Down syndrome (Ds) when she was born. Because of that little extra, I seem to have become obsessed with books that use Ds as a theme, have characters with Ds, etc.

The non-fiction stuff is ok, but the fiction? Much better and easier to read. It doesn't feel so much like work.

Previously, I offered these books on my blog, but I think I like this here idea of Lisa's so that we can keep it all in one place. So, from time to time, I'll offer books and reviews. Some related to Ds, or maybe not. Time will tell.

First up is Jewel.

Jewel reminded me a lot of The Grapes of Wrath, which I read back in high school. Perhaps it was the similarity of a working class family looking for a better life. Both took place in right around the same time period as well.

The book is named for the main character, Jewel Hilburn. This book basically tells the story of her life, including her relationships with her husband, Leston, and their six children. The youngest of the six is Brenda Kay, who was born with Ds.

What a time to be born with a disability! The language is that of the time and place that the book describes (think early 20th century Mississippi, mostly), so that takes some getting used to, but it's a good story, regardless.

What I took away from this book was just how far we've come in how we raise our children with disabilities. Brenda Kay was an exception in that her mother was a pioneer of sorts and fought to have her not only stay at home with the family, but also be educated.

If this sounds like something in which you'd be interested, leave a comment and it'll be on the way.


  1. Ooh, me! I've been wanting to read this one.

    And I am now officially going to quit requesting books until I have nothing left on my to-read list. :)

  2. Done. Please email me your address and I'll get it out ASAP.

  3. An enjoyable read Jewel by Bret Lott. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.