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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?

tlclogoI received a print copy of this book from TLC online book tours and Random House Publishing. Thank you for sharing this good read.

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s from this site, I will receive a few blossoms in my bouquet.  Thank you.  Donations also welcomed.

Related Reading:
The Long Goodbye
So Far Away
All Gone
When Women Were Birds

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8 Responses to “SON OF A GUN: A Memoir ~Justin St. Germain”

  1. Talon Says:

    Not just the violence scares me, but there is an element of hatred that is shocking to me. Just recently, right here in our neighborhood, someone spray painted hateful things on a family’s car. Yeah, we don’t seem to be able to get past this burning conviction that we are better than someone else…and, until we do, I don’t think things will change.

    Patricia Reply:

    I think many would miss the study of violence in this book. The violence against children and woman seems like that just happens to a certain group of people. But it just stood out for me like a sore thumb…It is an interesting story and is just so indicative of how children suffer after the loss and after violence occurs…even when a child sees it on TV….their emotions are so vulnerable – delicate – new

  2. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Patricia – I not only agree with Talon’s assessment (“…that we are BETTER than someone else…”), but even more so, the reverse, that someone is LESS than we are. Just the thought makes my skin crawl.

    The premise of the book “Son of a Gun” makes me think of Daisy Hickman’s recent post, “Beyond Certainty” – here’s a link: http://sunnyroomstudio.com/2013/08/16/beyond-certainty/ (by the way, Daisy lost a son)…
    Laurie Buchanan recently posted..Tickling WordsMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    I hate to admit this Laurie, but I do not think many readers would even recognize the author’s thread about violence and guns and hate…it is so much the norm in our society.

    I thought I would just rush through this book, but instead I did my usual read it twice because it had a powerful story to tell and it told it well within the pain of losing his mother. All his worry about whether he would be violent towards women in the future – or others.

    The author still had to remain “cool” because he still lives in the South west …

  3. Alien Ghost Says:

    Hi Patricia,

    Unfortunately violence and death in the news has become an entertainment for people watching TV, and only when it touches them personally they realize that there is so much pain involved.

    I believe the problem is the excessive freedom of business: First is business and then is people wellbeing. When it comes to food, companies can create addictive foods that will create a mess in people’s bodies. When it comes to movies, companies can use people’s instincts of survival to create attractive violent movies that sell more; even some TV shows are based in the fighting of the guests!

    Just like seeing someone eating certain kind of food can move people to eat it too, seeing too much unrestricted violence can lead to people to accept violence until it touches them personally.

    Unfortunately a system that controls and restrict to prevent this kind of things would be called a dictatorship and accused of denying freedom of choice to people, so there is no external solution to the problem. As someone said (I don’t remember his name right now): The Fundamental Revolution is the Self Revolution.

    Alien Ghost recently posted..Aspie World 9 – The BridgeMy Profile

    patricia Reply:

    I do think folks are rather numbed to violence. I am just amazed at how many people I know who have had a child murdered or a friend or a wonderful school teacher….it has so touched everyone.

    It leaves the survivors feeling very hopeless and always wondering why = in discomfort forever. It is changing our world

    Kindness is so important

  4. Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours Says:

    This true story is one that I think will stick with readers for a very long time, and make them think long and hard about the impact that violence has on children (and everyone).

    Thanks for being on the tour.

    Patricia Reply:

    Heather J,
    I appreciated having the opportunity to read this book.
    Patricia recently posted..THE LADY’S MAID: A Novel ~Dilly CourtMy Profile