Bret Lott is the author of the novels Jewel, Reed's Beach, A Stranger's House, and The Man Who Owned Vermont; the story collections How to Get Home and A Dream of Old Leaves; and the memoir Fathers, Sons, and Brothers. His stories and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals and magazines, among them. The Southern Review, The Yale Review, The Iowa Review, the Chicago Tribune, and Story, and have been widely anthologized.
A Song I Knew By Heartby Bret Lott
During a cold Massachusetts winter, a tragic car accident leaves a mother childless and her daughter-in-law a widow. Naomi and Ruth are now each other's only comfort. Naomi lost her own husband eight years ago, and now she has lost her son. Carrying a deep secret in her soul, Naomi decides to return to her childhood home in coastal South Carolina. When she
During a cold Massachusetts winter, a tragic car accident leaves a mother childless and her daughter-in-law a widow. Naomi and Ruth are now each other's only comfort. Naomi lost her own husband eight years ago, and now she has lost her son. Carrying a deep secret in her soul, Naomi decides to return to her childhood home in coastal South Carolina. When she tells Ruth her plan, she receives an unexpected reply: "Where you go, I will go." So the two women plan the journey together, arriving at a place that is flooded with a love they are nearly too fragile to accept. Surrounded by the warmth of their newfound family, Naomi and Ruth begin to find themselves reawakened-and open to the possibility of redemption.
- Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
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I read a lot of various genres, styles, etc, so when I opened this book and read the first few pages, I was shocked that I could not get into this author's style! It was frustrating and awkward. I thought maybe I was just tired, so I set it aside and picked up again a few days later. This time I got through chapter 1 and just quit. There are too many wonderful books out there to force myself through this one. I lived near the setting in this story so that initially peeked my interest. Maybe Lott's other novels are better. I'll try another one. This one read like someone trying too hard to sound poetic or different, instead of just relaxing and telling the story.
I guess Bret Lott is just not the author for me. After attempting 'Jewel' and finding it lacking, I thought I would give 'A Song I Knew by Heart' a chance. It sounded like a wonderful story as I enjoy fiction which uses a Bible story as its base. Sorry, but I just could not even finish this one--too bland and predictable and very far-fetched.
The author is wonderful expressing emotions.He says how the home was filled with love and how that love was gone with her husbands last breath.He reminds me of of another book Beach Music in his story telling. Loved this author
Bret Lott's 'A Song I Knew by Heart' may not be the fastest paced read of the summer and it does fade a little in the stretch BUT the first third with its wondrously written prose -- and the middle passage with it's story of forgivenss secretly offered and belatedly recieved -- make this beautiful book a treasure.
I enjoyed this story. I found it to be believable in premise and in plot. The reader gets the impression that the mother (Naomi) and daughter (Ruth) genuinely care for one another in addition to their friends in the sewing circle. The only thing holding me back from giving this 5 stars is the voice of the narrator. I'm not saying that it can't be done successfully or convincingly, but I found it difficult to hear the narrator as a woman, not a male author speaking through a woman, with this novel.