Mass Market Paperbound
560 pages, 6.75 × 4 × 1.25 in
December 1, 1999
Simon & Schuster
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0671042572
ISBN - 13: 9780671042578
About the Book
In the backwoods of Mississippi, Jewel and her husband are truly blessed; they have five fine children. When Brenda Kay is born in 1943, Jewel gives thanks for a healthy baby, last-born and most welcome. "Jewel" is the story of how quickly a life can change; how an unforeseen event can set us on a course without reason or compass. In this story of a woman's devotion to the child who is both her burden and God's singular way of smiling on her, Bret Lott has created a mother-daughter relationship of matchless intensity and beauty, and one of the finest, most indomitable heroines in contemporary American fiction.
Read from the Book
From Book One1943Chapter 1I was born in 1904, so that when I was pregnant in 1943 I was near enough to be past the rightful age to bear children. This would be my sixth, and on that morning in February, the first morning I'd known I was with child, I'd simply turned to Leston in bed next to me, the room gray from a winter sky outside the one window, that sky not yet lit with the sun, and I'd said, "There'll be no more after this one."He rolled onto his back, his eyes still shut, the little hair he still had wild and loose on his head. He put his hands behind his head, and gave a sort of smile, one I'd seen enough times before this. Five times before, to be exact.He said, "Another one," and kept the smile. Then he said, "What makes you think so?"I said, "Doesn't take divining, not after five," and I paused. I reached a hand up from beneath the quilts, felt the chill of the morning on my skin, that skin the same color gray as the small strip of sky I could see above the box pine and live oak outside the window. I touched Leston's cheek, did the best I could to smooth out his hair. He was still smiling.I said, "I just know."Then came the morning sounds, sounds of the everyday of our lives: first the slam shut of the front door as James, our oldest, started on his way to work at Crampton's Lumber; then the scrape of our other two boys, Burton and Wilman, from their room above us, the first sounds of tussling and fooling that started now and ended only after dark, the boys back i
From the Publisher
In the backwoods of Mississippi, Jewel and her husband are truly blessed; they have five fine children. When Brenda Kay is born in 1943, Jewel gives thanks for a healthy baby, last-born and most welcome. Jewel
is the story of how quickly a life can change; how an unforeseen event can set us on a course without reason or compass. In this story of a woman's devotion to the child who is both her burden and God's singular way of smiling on her, Bret Lott has created a mother-daughter relationship of matchless intensity and beauty, and one of the finest, most indomitable heroines in contemporary American fiction.
About the Author
is a native of Los Angeles, California. His parents were raised in Mississippi and East Texas and relocated to Los Angeles in the 1950s. It is this Southern heritage -- going all the way back to the War Between the States -- that Mr. Lott has drawn on in writing Jewel.
He is the author of five highly acclaimed novels: The Man Who Owned Vermont, A Stranger's House, Jewel, Reed's Beach,
and The Hunt Club,
as well as two collections of widely anthologized short stories, A Dream of Old Leaves
and How to Get Home,
and a memoir, Fathers, Sons, and Brothers.
He lives with his wife and two sons near Charleston, South Carolina, and teaches at the College of Charleston and Vermont College.
From Our Editors
Believing they are the creators of their own destinies, many people strive to create the perfect existence and attempt to thwart less-than-ideal circumstances before they strike. Others accept when good things happen to them, it is because God is rewarding them. Jewel Hilburn had what she considered a utopian life. She had a wonderful, loving husband who helped her raise their five children. Jewel soon had a sixth child and was once again thankful for her good fortune, but tragedy strikes. She soon finds herself trying to survive in a world turned completely upside down. Bret Lott's Jewel was an Oprah Book Club selection.
The Chicago Tribune
Bret Lott's Jewel
is a beautifully crafted first-person epic of one poor Southern woman's personal duel with God....This is a voice we don't want to stop hearing....Some of the tenderest scenes of family love since those in Dickens.