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A Song I Knew By Heart

A Novel

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Paperback published by Ballantine Books (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
“And Ruth said,‘ Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.’” —Ruth 1:16

During a cold Massachusetts winter, a man’s car fatally skids on black ice, leaving a mother childless and her daughter-in-law a widow. Naomi and Ruth, bound together as kin, are now each other’s only comfort. Naomi lost her own husband, Eli, eight years ago, and now she has lost her son.

Watching Ruth struggle through grief, Naomi suddenly realizes what she must do to make herself whole again: She must return to her childhood home in coastal South Carolina. There, she remembers, was the innocence of youth and first falling in love. But when she tells Ruth about her plan, she receives an unexpected reply: “Where you go, I will go. Where you live, that’s where I’ll live too.” So the two women plan the journey together.

The only family Naomi has down South are in-laws, people she hasn’t seen in decades, having kept in touch over the years only through annual Christmas cards. But when she phones, apprehensively, to tell them of her plan, they welcome her with openness and warmth. Arriving at a home full of sons and daughters and grandchildren, Naomi and Ruth are flooded with a love they are nearly too fragile to accept.

Yet Naomi carries a deep secret in her soul—and not even this change of scenery can erase its dark shadow. As the long Southern days seep into their hearts, both she and Ruth begin to find themselves reawakened. And as the love of her newfound family and her enduring bond with Ruth prove themselves stronger than sin, stronger than heartache, redemption finds Naomi once and for all.

A Song I Knew by Heart is about the healing power of family—in particular, the bond between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. As Ruth and Naomi share their individual sorrows, together they find an uncommon strength. The pages of Bret Lott’s deeply moving novel flow with a lilting beauty that is as heartrending and as restorative as the relationship at its center.


From the Hardcover edition.
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“And Ruth said,‘ Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.’” —Ruth 1:16

During a cold Massachusetts winter, a man’s car fatally skids on black ice, leaving a mother childless and her daughter-in-law a widow. Naomi and Ruth, bound together as kin, are now each other’s only comfort. Naomi lost her own husband, Eli, eight years ago, and now she has lost her son.

Watching Ruth struggle through grief, Naomi suddenly realizes what she must do to make herself whole again: She must return to her childhood home in coastal South Carolina. There, she remembers, was the innocence of youth and first falling in love. But when she tells Ruth about her plan, she receives an unexpected reply: “Where you go, I will go. Where you live, that’s where I’ll live too.” So the two women plan the journey together.

The only family Naomi has down South are in-laws, people she hasn’t seen in decades, having kept in touch over the years only through annual Christmas cards. But when she phones, apprehensively, to tell them of her plan, they welcome her with openness and warmth. Arriving at a home full of sons and daughters and grandchildren, Naomi and Ruth are flooded with a love they are nearly too fragile to accept.

Yet Naomi carries a deep secret in her soul—and not even this change of scenery can erase its dark shadow. As the long Southern days seep into their hearts, both she and Ruth begin to find themselves reawakened. And as the love of her newfound family and her enduring bond with Ruth prove themselves stronger than sin, stronger than heartache, redemption finds Naomi once and for all.

A Song I Knew by Heart is about the healing power of family—in particular, the bond between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. As Ruth and Naomi share their individual sorrows, together they find an uncommon strength. The pages of Bret Lott’s deeply moving novel flow with a lilting beauty that is as heartrending and as restorative as the relationship at its center.


From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
Paperback (336 pages)
Published: May 31, 2005
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780345437754
Other books byBret Lott
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    In this lyrically written, hauntingly seductive novel, Bret Lott brings to life the beauty and flavor of the mist-covered swamps and backlands of South Carolina's Lowcountry in a story that is both mystery and rite of passage. At fifteen, Huger ("you say it YOU-gee") Dillard already knows a great deal about the ways of the world--or so he thinks. He may not have a father, but with the guidance of his blind "Unc," Leland, and weekends spent at the Hunt Club--a tract of woods and swamp belonging to his family--Huger knows all about the land and the habits of its wildlife, from deer to the pompous Charleston doctors and lawyers who come to hunt them. But nothing can prepare him for the dark events that begin to unfold when he and Unc stumble upon the body of a well-to-do Charleston regular on their land. Who wanted him dead? And why is the Hunt Club suddenly at the heart of a dark secret worth killing for? Caught in a treacherous labyrinth that stretches deep into the past, Huger and everyone he loves are about to discover painful truths that will irrevocably change them; truths that will shatter a young boy's innocence and test him as a man.

    Jewel

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    Ancient Highway

    Ancient Highway
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Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • I stood outside my son Mahlon and his wife Ruth's bedroom door, in my hands two coffee cups, the pain sharp shards in my old fingers looped through the handles.

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  • And I am filled.

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