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The Nine Lessons
A Novel of Love, Fatherhood, and Second Chances

by Kevin Alan Milne


Yes, Kevin Alan Milne's novel The Nine Lessons is a little melodramatic, but from time to time, we need a novel that offers us action with a gentler and more loving touch.

August Witte, who can't get over the treatment his golf-obsessed father London dished out when he was younger, suddenly finds himself on the verge of fatherhood. August (really Augusta as he was named after the famed golf course) goes to his father to confront him and blame him for his inability to accept fatherhood. They make a pact: August will receive nine lessons in golf and London will provide information about August's mother—information written on golf score sheets.

After the deal is made, the reader is treated to nine engaging stories about golf—really as much about life as about golf. The reader is treated to tense situations between father and son, but with each lesson we see the tension lessen and the love rekindle. Each lesson is a mini-story within itself. One would have to say the action is somewhat predictable but in a pleasant sort of way. One wouldn't want it any other way. The reader knows fairly well what is going to happen, but the revelation is still sensitive and rewarding.

This novel will appeal especially to fathers and sons who are at odds with each other and men who don't feel up to the challenges of fatherhood.

The Book

Center Street / Hachette Book Group
May 6, 2009
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The Reviewer

Willie Elliott
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Willie Elliott is's "Before the Title" columnist, covering non-fiction books and related subjects.
© 2009