“Gun Love” reflects a tragic American reality

By  | 

Gun Love. By Jennifer Clement. Hogarth; 245 pages; $25 and £14.99.

AT THE emergency foster home, they call the children “shoots”. The word invokes growth and greenness, but it has a different meaning in the 21st-century Florida of Jennifer Clement’s “Gun Love”. “We call you children shoots because your parents were shot,” a social worker tells 14-year-old Pearl France, the narrator.

Pearl grew up in a trailer park, and not even in a trailer: she lived in a battered Mercury, its tyres flat, the boot full of heirlooms that Margot, her mother, purloined when she fled home as a pregnant teenager. Margot dies halfway through the novel, but her fate is foreshadowed from the first pages. “In our part of Florida things were always being gifted a bullet just for the sake of it,” Pearl says.

It would be tempting to call Ms Clement’s book timely, were gun violence not so pervasive in America, where on average 19 children are shot every day….Continue reading

Powered by WPeMatico