Son of a Gun: A Memoir Read Online Free - In the tradition of Tobias Wolff, James Ellroy, and Mary Karr, a stunning memoir of a mother-son relationship that is also the searing, unflinching account of a murder and its aftermath
Tombstone, Arizona, September 2001. Debbie St. Germain’s death in her remote trailer, apparently at the hands of her fifth husband, is a passing curiosity. “A real-life old West murder mystery,” the local TV announcers intone before the commercial break, while barroom gossips snicker cruelly. But for her twenty-year-old son, Justin St. Germain, the tragedy marks the line that separates his world into before and after.
Long after his mother’s death is “solved,” closure still seems missing. Distancing himself from the legendary town of his childhood, Justin makes another life a world away in San Francisco and achieves all the surface successes that would have filled his mother with pride. Yet years later he’s still sleeping with a loaded rifle under his bed. Ultimately, he is pulled back to the desert landscape of his childhood on a search to make sense of the unfathomable. What made his mother, a onetime army paratrooper, the type of woman who would stand up to any man except the men she was in love with? What led her to move from place to place, house to house, man to man, job to job, until finally she found herself in a desperate and deteriorating situation, living on an isolated patch of desert with an unstable ex-cop?
Justin’s journey takes him back to the ghost town of Wyatt Earp and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, to the trailers he and Debbie shared, to the string of stepfathers who were a constant, sometimes threatening presence in his life, to a harsh world on the margins full of men and women all struggling to define what family means. He decides to confront people from his past and delve into the police records in an attempt to make sense of his mother’s life and death. All the while he tries to be the type of man she would have wanted him to be.
Brutally honest and beautifully written, Son of a Gun is a brave, unexpected and unforgettable memoir.
|Title||:||Son of a Gun: A Memoir|
|Number of Pages||:||256 pages|
July 23, 2013
“Son of a Gun” is part true crime and part memoir with more emphasis on the memoir genre since there’s never much doubt about who dun it. It’s also a coming of age book. Justin begins to write the book soon after he loses his mother at age 20 and off and on continues the story until now w...
April 07, 2014
"There are no clues left, no mystery to solve. I know what happened. I just don't know why." When Justin St. Germain was twenty years old, his mother was murdered. Her sudden death left a gaping hole in his life, which he addressed, in some ways, by writing about it. In a nearly decade-long sear...
February 14, 2013
Formalities first, of course, I received an Advance Readers Copy from a goodreads giveaway.
Son of a Gun by Justin St. Germain is one book I will never forget reading. It's full of incredibly raw emotion, telling the story of Justin's mother's murder. An event that no one should have to live throu...
January 02, 2013
This isn't just the story of a murder on the outskirts of Tombstone, Arizona. This memoir celebrates the firm bond between mother and son, questions the role of ephemeral fathers, and complicates the celebrated legend of a shoot-out at the O.K. Corral. With a steady voice that takes careful aim,...
January 21, 2018
This was written by the son of a woman that was murdered by her boyfriend. There is very little here about the crime. It is more about relationships and how he dealt with his mother's murder. The author admits his faults. He has not been the perfect son. It was interesting in the beginning but ha...
February 15, 2018
Library Biography #25
Recommendation from my non-fiction group.
The tone of the book is rather somber. St. Germain takes the reader through the emotions and events surrounding his mother's murder. In addition to his memories, he takes the reader through his own suffering and healing in dealing with...
August 14, 2013
Son of a Gun, the new memoir by Justin St. Germain, at first glance appears to be simply a son’s eulogy to his murdered mother. But it is much more than that because of how St. Germain uses his mother’s story to reflect also upon the precarious blue collar struggle so many people face today, one...
May 21, 2013
First things first: I received this book free from LibraryThing Early Readers in return for this review. This did not effect my review in any way.
This was a hard book to read and a is a hard book to review.
Son of a Gun is the most honest book I can recall reading, which is wonderful, but also un...
August 31, 2013
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Son of a Gun is an unflinchingly honest memoir as author Justin St. Germain looks back at his mother Debbie's murder by her husband, and goes back to trace her life beforehand, and afterwards. The story of Debbie's life and death is intertwined with Justin...
August 17, 2016
This is a fine memoir, well written overall. The historic story of Tombstone, AZ and the gunfight at the OK coral is lightly woven into the personal story of St. Germain trying to resolve the questions surrounding his mother's murder by her husband (not St. Germain's father). The question is unan...