Sunday, December 12, 2010

Book Report: Jewel

I just finished this book this morning and was left...vowing to never grow old.  Jewel by Bret Lott is in no way a thrilling read that keeps you on your toes or page turning like a maniac.  It's not action packed or loaded with gruesome scenes.  It's more like molasses, sweet, slow and steady.  I enjoy thrillers just as much as the rest of them but I did enjoy this book because of the reality and genuineness of it.  It was relate able all the while being so totally different from my life.

I like hearing about other people lives and how they live them.  This book takes you from 1904 to 1984 all from the eyes of a woman name Jewel.  It shoots you back and forth from the present and past to tell her childhood as well as her current life with the family she is raising.  She lives most of her life in the backwoods of Mississippi until her sixth child is born with Down's Syndrome. Back in the 40's, the scientific name for a child born with this was "Mongolian Idiot."  No joke, that is what doctors called your child back then with no shame.  Jewel is suddenly thrown into this whole new world where this child's needs take everything she's got.  Her desire to have the best for her youngest daughter causes her to move the family all the way to Los Angeles, California to seek help from a special school.  Along the way her other children are growing up and starting their own families while her husband stays by her side.  A rift forms between them but occasionally they share incredibly soft and tender moments, acting as the glue that keeps them together through the ups and the deep deep downs.  

This book really shows the tests of marriage and the strength needed to overcome...and stay married.  It also touches on race relations and uses the N word quite a bit.  The word isn't used in a derogatory manner but instead depicts the times when it was just a word used to described something and carried no negative connotation...until she moves to California.

Overall I enjoyed the book.  Her life so starkly different than mine...different time...different place but still felt strangely relate-able. 

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