Stephan Lee
August 09, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Son of a Gun

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Justin St. Germain
publisher
Random House
genre
Memoir

We gave it a B+

St. Germain was 20 when his mother was shot, allegedly by her fifth husband. Her death, coming just days after 9/11, merited a mere blip on the local news. But years later, questions about his mom — a former paratrooper who continually found herself in abusive relationships, unsteady jobs, and run-down trailer parks — began to haunt St. Germain, now a creative-writing professor. Revisiting his hometown of Tombstone, Ariz. (also home to famed gunslinger Wyatt Earp), he builds a visceral, compelling portrait of his mother and the violent culture that claimed her in Son of a Gun. B+

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