Item description for Nine Lessons by Kevin Alan Milne...
Overview August Witte is against having children, but nature has a different idea when August's wife becomes pregnant, after which his estranged father offers to meet August for a round of golf during each month of his wife's pregnancy to share memories of August's mother; but the son soon realizes that his father may also be trying to teach him about life in this touching story about fatherhood.
Publishers Description August Witte is firmly against having children. But after seven years of marriage, his wife is delighted when she realizes she is unexpectedly pregnant. August is terrified, recognizing he never learned the first thing about being a good parent from his father London. A widower since August was a toddler, London has always valued the game of golf--a sport August has never had any talent for--more than his son. In spite of how he hates the game, when August confronts his father, he finds himself agreeing to meet each month of the pregnancy for a round of golf. In exchange, London will give him the only thing that could make August agree to pick up a club again--memories of his mother, which he has written on golf scorecards since the day he met her. But August quickly realizes that his father's motive is not to teach him about golf, but to teach him about life--and he may discover that the old man just might know something about it worth sharing.
From Publishers Weekly Sappy melodrama reigns in Milne's second novel (after The Paper Bag Christmas). Haunted by childhood memories of his golf-obsessed father, August Witte balks when he learns that he is going to be a father himself. August goes to his widower father, London, to confront him about his failures as a parent and reach some measure of inner peace. London instead offers him a deal: meet every month for a golf lesson and in exchange, London will give August his journal of memories of August's mother, written on golf scorecards. August agrees and as the lessons pass, he realizes that his father knows about more than golf after all. It's aggressively soft-focused, and though the conflicts between London and August are believable enough, the overarching theme is heavy-handed, while the preachiness can reach gag-worthy levels. This hits just in time for Father's Day, and the low hardcover price may incite more than a few impulse buys for the golfing man already stocked with single malt. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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Studio: Center Street
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2009
Publisher Warner/Faith Books
ISBN 159995074X ISBN13 9781599950747
Availability 15 units. Availability accurate as of Aug 19, 2017 10:03.
Usually ships within one to two business days from New Kensington, PA.
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More About Kevin Alan Milne
Kevin Alan Milne is the author of The Paper Bag Christmas, The Nine Lessons, Sweet Misfortune, and The Final Note. He earned an MBA at Pennsylvania State University. Born in Portland, Oregon, Milne grew up in the nearby quiet country town of Sherwood, Oregon, where he currently resides with his wife and five children.
Reviews - What do customers think about Nine Lessons?
The Nine Lessons Sep 15, 2009
I do not play golf, but have reads two golf themed novels this week. I and enjoyed them both. Go figure. "The Nine Lessons: A Novel of Love, Fatherhood, and Second Chances" by Kevin Alan Milne is the story of father's nine lessons of golf he offers to his estranged son, who is apprehensive of becoming a father himself. But the lessons are about life, as the father states many times "Golf Is Life". The story is charming and I found myself a little surprised by some things; which made it all the more fun to read.
Golf is life and life is golf as a reluctant new dad learns about fatherhood from his own estranged father. Sep 8, 2009
The Nine Lessons: A Novel of Love, Fatherhood, and Second Chances August Witte doesn't want to be a father; after all, his own father wasn't a very good one. When his wife delivers the news that she is unexpectedly pregnant, August storms off and drives to his father London's house in the middle of the night to confront him about their shared past. London Witte's life is all about golf, but August was never a very good golfer despite London's frustrating attempts to teach him as a boy. When London finally cuts August from the golf team in his freshman year of high school, it drives a wedge between the men that never heals. When August also accuses London of refusing to share his memories of August's deceased mother, London proposes a deal. He has a chest containing dozens of golf scorecards on which he kept a journal of his experiences during his marriage. He will give the cards to August in installments, and in return August will agree to play nine games of golf with his father. London believes that golf is life and life is golf, and that golf can teach August to be a better father.
Over the course of the next nine months, August learns a series of lessons from his father that are accessible even to non-golfers. When his wife is touchy and temperamental due to morning sickness, he learns that you play golf faithfully even in the rain. When she humiliates him at their baby shower, he learns to give her a "mulligan", i.e., to forgive her. And when he begins to consider how to teach his children how to behave properly, he learns about golf etiquette. Through reading about London's experiences first as a young father and later as a widowed father, August comes to see himself reflected in his father after all. Through the lessons of golf and his new, admittedly often rocky relationship with his father, August begins to address the fears and insecurities about fatherhood that are common to all new fathers.
Milne has made an interesting choice with this book. He could easily have used his ideas about life and golf to write a short and pithy - and probably forgettable - nonfiction book with a title like "Everything I Needed To Know About Being a Father I Learned from Golf." Instead, he has deftly woven these insights into an engaging novel where even the minor characters, like Fertile the Turtle and The Teenage Drama Queen, become an integral part of the story. It's also a story that illustrates how easily fathers and sons can come to misunderstand each other, and holds out hope that a rapprochement is possible in even the most hopeless cases if only we can bring ourselves to tell each other the truth.
Life lessons taught through golf Jun 20, 2009
London Witte loves golf so much he named his only child Augusta Nicklaus Witte. London's beloved wife died when August (as he preferred to be called) was four. London immersed his young son in golf, thinking it was what his wife wanted him to do. Their relationship wasn't easy, though, since August wasn't a good golfer, and it suffered what seemed irreparable damage when London cut August from the high school golf team.
Years later, August is married and he and London have a tenuous relationship, at best. August doesn't want children, so he's floored one evening when his wife announces she's pregnant. In a fit of anger, August hops into his car and rushes to his father's home. His car gets stuck in the mud and he walks to his father's house to get help. His father shows him an odd journal he's kept on golf score cards through the years and agrees to allow August to read it on one condition - August must take one golf lesson a month from his father throughout his wife's pregnancy.
August reluctantly agrees and the lessons end up to be life lessons rather than golf lessons. For example, they played during torrential rain during one lesson - they couldn't use a cart and there were large puddles on the course. The moral of the lesson was, "Some days we play the game of life in the bloody rain. Not all days can be sunny skies and fair weather. But sooner or later the dark clouds dissipate. . . and the light shines through." August learns about life through the lessons and about his father through the journal and slowly comes around to anticipating the birth of his child.
The Nine Lessons by Kevin Alan Milne is a sweet, endearing book. It's an emotional tale about forgiveness and father-son relationships. There are great golf quotes at the beginning of each chapter, like this one from Charles Rosin - "Golf isn't a game, it's a choice that one makes with one's life." You don't need to be very knowledgeable of golf to enjoy this book, though. I think anyone looking for a light, inspirational book will enjoy this one like I did.
Golf IS Life! May 9, 2009
When August Wilte learns his wife is pregnant, he's terrified. His own father, London, was less than perfect. To make things worse, his mother died when he was very young, so he's never been exposed to "good" parenting.
August confronts his father, demanding an explanation for his failures. Instead, London suggests that meet once a month for a round of golf. Both men get what they want: London gets the chance to reintroduce his son to the game of golf, and August receives tidbits of memories of his mother on golf score cards that London used as a sort of diary.
August soon learns that his father's motive isn't just golf. Each golf lesson is actually a life lesson. By the time his wife has reached the end of her pregnancy, August has received nine lessons in life from his father.
I'll have to admit, I was apprehensive about reading THE NINE LESSONS when I read the description. However, I enjoyed Milne's other book THE PAPER BAG CHRISTMAS I thought I'd give him another chance. I'm glad I did. Milne's characters are genuine and experience emotions we've all experienced. The messages relayed in THE NINE LESSONS are messages that we can all take to heart.
Nine Lessons, five stars, two boxes of Kleenex Apr 29, 2009