Got another review, less than 24 hours since my last! I am on fire on weekends lately, at least by my standards. I have the weather to thank for this as it’s been very miserable the last weeks which means I am constantly in my comfier, cuddled up and reading. Today was exactly that. I started The Gunners by Rebecca Kauffman late last night and have had my head stuck in it all day today. This was a catch up BOTM read from July and I can see why it was nominated.
The Gunners are a group of kids who commander an old abandoned house as their base and grow up together living in the same neighbourhood. Until one of the members, Sally, decides to leave the group and loses touch with all of them. Fast forward to when they are a group of thirty-somethings and they all hear that Sally has taken her own life. The tragedy forces the group back together after 15 years when they are forced to take a trip down memory lane which reveals old secrets that open new wounds that they help each other to heal.
I have to start by talking about the characters in this book. Kauffman’s awesome writing brings you so close to all of the characters, you can’t help but feel invested in each of their lives. Although they don’t all get equal air time (is it air time in a book?! I don’t know), I still felt like I knew so much about each one and loved each one individually. The story is told predominantly from Mikey’s point of view (whom I adored by the way) but we get background and secrets about Alice, Sam, Jimmy, Lynn and Sally also. I don’t think I can pick a fave out of all of them. They were all written so well, I loved bits of each of them incredibly.
The story in this book is so heart warming and I’m sure many people will be able to read and relate to this somehow in one way or another. If you have childhood friends whom you’re still in contact with and hold dear to your heart, this book will make you appreciate them all the more. If you’ve lost contact with old friends, this book will make you want to reach out and find out how they’re doing. My relationship with the story is slightly somewhere between. I have friends of many years with whom I haven’t completely lost touch with, but have drifted from. Reading The Gunners made me think about this a lot and made me question myself. It’s not difficult to just ask a friend if they’re ok, what’s going on their life, remind them that you’re there. Life is too short to lose friends just because life gets busy!
I’m so glad that this book landed on my lap when it did. Brilliant writing, brilliant characterisation and a heart warming and beautiful story line. I’ll be adding more of Kauffman to be TBR list this very moment.
“That word love…it was scary and outlandish to him. But what was life if not a long series of scary and outlandish things you did and said and asked of your heart, so you could carry the wild and unreasonable hope hat someday someone would hold your face and say, You are perfect. You can rest now. You were always perfect to me. Not because you were even remotely close to perfect, or brave, or strong, or even very good, but because you had been very dear friends for a very long time”
The Gunners by Rebecca Kauffman