Remember my Beauties

Title:  Remember My Beauties
Author: Lynne Hugo
Publisher:  Switchgrass Books
Release Date:  April 18, 2016
Genre: Literary Fiction

Imagine a hawk’s view of the magnificent bluegrass pastures of Kentucky horse country. Circle around the remnants of a breeding farm, four beautiful horses grazing just beyond the paddock. Inside the ramshackle house, a family is falling apart.

Hack, the patriarch breeder and trainer, is aged and blind, and his wife, Louetta, is confined by rheumatoid arthritis. Their daughter, Jewel, struggles to care for them and the horses while dealing with her own home and job—not to mention her lackluster second husband, Eddie, and Carley, her drug-addicted daughter. Many days, Jewel is only sure she loves the horses. But she holds it all together. Until her brother, Cal, shows up again. Jewel already has reason to hate Cal, and when he meets up with Carley, he throws the family into crisis—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 join to weave the family story back together, either the barn will burn to the ground or something bigger than any of them will emerge, shining with hope. Remember My Beauties grows large and wide as it reveals what may save us.


With raw descriptive and lyrical prose, Lynne Hugo's Remember My Beauties is honest, provocative and potent. Dysfunctional family dynamics that discourage and breaks you down, yet it is with such vehement bluntness in life that makes one see possibilities.   Disturbing at times, yet hopeful and understandable, Remember My Beauties let readers see the many sides of how one loves and forgives, especially with familial relations. One aspect to note is the switch from first person (Jewel's) perspective to a 3rd person narration, which can get confusing at times.  Animal lovers will especially enjoy the close connection and healing message between horse and owner.  In all, this is not a light-read. Its depth may overwhelm you at first, but the outcome to a realistic ending will give you the satisfaction of a good read.

For my clean readers, Remember My Beauties contains some profanity, vulgarity and intimacy, not major, but understandable with setting and character traits.

NOTE:  I received a complimentary copy of this book through TLC Book Tours for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own. For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Lynne Hugo is an award-winning novelist, poet, and memoirist. Her 2014 novel, A Matter of Mercy, won an Independent Publisher silver medal for best regional fiction. The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College and a master’s degree from Miami University. She lives with her husband in Ohio.

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  1. i debated reviewing this one because it's set in Kentucky. I may still go back and read it one of these days :)

  2. I'm just back from book tour and catching up. I really thank you for your thoughtful, sensitive review, and for recommending the book! I think that hope, forgiveness, and redemption are my most important themes. I do believe that people can--and often do--change for the better. You're right, the Kentucky setting and human-horse interaction is important; many of us see animals bringing out the best in people, and I wanted to highlight that, too. I'd love for any of your readers to share their reactions through my website, or Facebook Author page. Thanks again for the opportunity and for your fine review. Lynne Hugo

  3. I wish I'd read your review earlier. I just reviewed the book on my site too and because I had expected a feel-good tale, some of the profanity shocked me. But I understood why the author chose to include it. I suppose there are many instances that call for its use as authenticity, even if I would keep the language out of my own writing.
    Overall, I think the book was well written and I liked how the characters, particularly husband stepped up and redeemed himself. You can see my review at


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