Remember My Beauties
Imagine a hawk’s view of the magnificent bluegrass pastures of Kentucky horse country. Circle around the struggling remnant of a breeding farm, four beautiful horses grazing just beyond the paddock. Inside the ramshackle house is the human drama of a falling-apart family. Hack, the patriarch breeder and trainer, now aged and blind; his wife, Louetta, confined by rheumatoid arthritis. Jewel, their daughter, struggles to care for them and the horses while dealing with her own home and job, lackluster second husband, Eddie; and Carley, her drug-addicted daughter. Many days, she’s only sure she loves the horses. But she holds it all together. Until Cal shows up again. The brother Jewel already has reason to hate, throws the family into crisis when he meets up with Carley and gives Jewel reason to pick up a gun.
Every family has heartbreaks, failures, a black sheep or two. And some families end in tatters. But some stumble on the secret of survival: if the leader breaks down, others step up and step in. In this lyrical novel, when the inept, the addict and the ex-con members join to weave the family story back together, either the barn will burn to the ground or something bigger than any character will emerge, shining with hope.
Remember My Beauties grows large and wide as it reveals what may save us.
“In vibrant prose, Lynne Hugo tells a gritty, psychologically astute story of three generations in turmoil and the power of nature to heal even the most troubled hearts. Her characters are brave, flawed, real—at times disturbingly so—but she never gives up on any of them, and by the end of this inspiring novel, I shared her empathetic vision. A spare, commanding novel by a master storyteller.” Patry Francis, author of The Orphans of Race Point
“A character in Remember My Beauties is fond of saying, ‘Lotsa ways to be blind,’ but this wonderful novel also shows us there are many ways to see — many ways to see love, for instance, or family or forgiveness. I’ll be remembering the beauty of this novel for a long time to come.” Katrina Kittle, author of The Blessings of the Animals
“Hugo’s writing might remind some readers of Annie Proulx, although her ear for dialog is closer to Larry McMurtry’s …Hugo offers convincing three-dimensional characters with convincing psychic wounds.” Wilmington Star News
” … a lyrical, down-to-earth snapshot of a pocket of flawed humanity.” John M. Murray reviews Remember My Beauties for Foreword
“The horses and farm are part of the family, but the story is the family. Read it for heartbreak moments, times when you grit your teeth with frustration, pages where you know what the character should do but they just won’t, moments when you forgive them even when you know you shouldn’t, unfair sadness, and gut-wrenching shocks.” Anne Loves Books
“Lynne Hugo’s writing is beautiful and evocative, earthy and strong. The characters, the setting, and the way she handles tough issues with honesty, grit, and understanding all make for a wonderful read.” Laura Harrington, author of Alice Bliss