The relationship between a horse and a human being can’t fully be explained. It’s a deep intimate one that perhaps can only be experienced. We had several horses growing up on Long Island. The only time I ever saw my father cry, I mean deeply from his gut, is when his quarter horse, Charlie died. He was a tough guy – a New York cop, but the tears flowed. That memory was close to the surface for me, as I read Lynne Hugo’s novel, REMEMBER MY BEAUTIES (Switchgrass Books).
The beauty of Kentucky horse country can’t hide the ugly dysfunction of the family we meet in REMEMBER MY BEAUTIES. Hack is the patriarch, old and blind, his wife, Louetta is crippled with rheumatoid arthritis. Jewel struggles to care for the breeding farm, job, her loser husband and drug-addict, daughter, Carley. The horses, or her beauties as she calls them, are the one shining light, that helps keep her sane.
Every family has a black sheep, and there’s is Cal. When her brother, ex-con Cal, whom Jewel has every reason to hate, decides to show up on the farm again, he gives Jewel a new reason to pick up her gun.
I enjoy reading novels about families with problems, with flawed characters and Lynne Hugo has written a narrative full of heartbreak with the sensitivity of a poet. In this family, those who love one another, misunderstand each other and are unable to communicate. It’s as if they speak on parallel planes. The characters points-of-view alternate, including one coming from the horse, Spice. This technique makes it so only the reader really knows what’s going on. Some families never survive and end up crumbling, but against all odds, Lynne Hugo offers hope in REMEMBER THE BEAUTIES.
At one-hundred sixty-four pages, it’s a short novel, but Lynne Hugo shares more wisdom about family and forgiveness than I’ve read in tomes twice or three times as long in REMEMBER MY BEAUTIES.
About Lynne Hugo
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Thanks to TLC Book Tours http://www.tlcbooktours.com we have one copy of REMEMBER MY BEAUTIES to give away. Just leave a comment about what you love about your family! We’ll pick a winner Friday! Have a great week!