SON OF A GUN: A Memoir ~Justin St. Germain
From the very first page of SON OF A GUN the reader is on a biographical journey which is a part of the recovery process of a young man whose Mother was murdered when he was 19 years old. The author is attempting to figure out “why” she was murdered and how he is supposed to live his life because she was murdered. How can he be the son which his Mother wanted him to become?
Most of the story is about Tombstone, Arizona and woven through the narrative is the story of Wyatt Earp, the real biography, the legends and the tourist trappings which was the center of the town where this family lived and owned several businesses. I was drawn into the story as though it was a documentary of the parallels and the pitfalls of life in these United States. There is a vivid, ruggedness to the telling of this tale about a Mother who was married 5 times, always found a way to provide for her sons, and sacrificed to make sure that they had what they needed to survive and achieve their goals.
Debbie St. Germain had dreams and loved horses. She had good friends and enemies and dated lots and lots of men. She had lousy taste in the men she chose to marry.
Justin St. Germain writes a compelling story and has an interesting rhythmic style of writing. One of the descriptions he uses was that they were “poor white trailer trash.” The continuance of the story is that his mother was a successful business woman and made a good living and could provide and that there were often periods in their lives when they had the house with a swimming pool and horses in the corral. He makes his assertion and then proceeds to defend and prove that they were not actually that poor and needy.
The author has a hard time trusting men and yet by taking this journey and writing he is able to sort out and gain a perspective. He truly catches himself and the men he interviews for the book, including the priest and the Marshall, for blaming the victim. He can see where he is blaming his mother too, for choosing this man in the first place. Not knowing his history of domestic violence; why did her kill her?
His analysis of ‘Parents Of Murdered Children’ and his understanding of what they were going through and the typical steps of filling up time and obsessions with reconstructing the events provided powerful insight; finally linking it to Gun Violence and then Violence in America it was brutally honest.
“Watch the news. So many people are murdered in America with such inconceivable frequency that the stories and statistics have lost their impact. Every victim has parents, spouses, siblings, kids. If all the relatives of murder victims in Arizona showed up to this meeting, this room wouldn’t be big enough. This hospital wouldn’t be big enough.”
St. Germain’s search for the WHY makes SON OF A GUN a powerful reminder of how violent we are as a nation. SON OF A GUN is a powerful truth.
Do you understand how a moment of violence can affect a child for a life time? Why are we such a violent nation? What are you thoughts?
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