Northern Illinois University Press


Remember My Beauties

Lynne Hugo

“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

Remember My Beauties is a lyrical and down-to-earth snapshot of unsympathetic characters who, because they are so clearly defined and motivated, become captivating and heart-achingly beautiful. A pocket of flawed humanity bound by the love of innocent animals elevates this story that shines a light on the value of family, love, and the connections that keep everything on a steady trot.” —Foreword Reviews

“Hugo’s writing might remind some readers of Annie Proulx, although her ear for dialogue is closer to Larry McMurtry’s.... Hugo offers convincing three-dimensional characters with convincing psychic wounds.” —The Wilmington Star News

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. A novel about perception, Remember My Beauties grows large and wide as it reveals what may save us.

April 2016, 194 pp., 5.5x8.5
ISBN 978-0-87580-736-2
$15.95t Paper

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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ISBN: 978-0-87580-736-2
paper $15.95