Lott, Brett. Jewel. New York: Washington Square Press, 1991.
This is a story of family. Jewel gives birth to her last child, a daughter, who turns out to have "special" needs. Jewel dedicates her life to helping Brenda Kay, including moving from their home in Mississippi (which her husband built) to California so that Brenda Kay can attend a school that can help her.
As I read this book, I kept thinking about what I would do in the same situation. Bret Lott does a great job capturing a mother's love in this novel. Jewel is willing to do anything to help her daughter. She is successful in her life's goal. As a reader, you celebrate Brenda Kay's accomplishments and anguish in the set backs the family faces.
The novel spans several decades, so the reader gets to see the family dynamics change. Some of the chapters are identified by the year that the story is now in, and there are two books within this novel.
It surprised me some that a man wrote this book, as it is obviously from a woman's point of view. Lott creates memorable characters in this book, and I couldn't read it fast enough. I had to find out what happened to the family.