by Rebecca Kauffman
Motivation for reading:
Tara and Susie recommended it... and it's been compared to The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, a favorite from a few years ago.
Source: Ebook downloaded from my library via hoopla. (an amazing service - so glad my library offers it!)
Following her wonderfully received first novel, Another Place You’ve Never Been, called “mesmerizing,” “powerful,” and “gorgeous,” by critics all over the country, Rebecca Kauffman returns with Mikey Callahan, a thirty-year-old who is suffering from the clouded vision of macular degeneration. He struggles to establish human connections—even his emotional life is a blur.
As the novel begins, he is reconnecting with “The Gunners,” his group of childhood friends, after one of their members has committed suicide. Sally had distanced herself from all of them before ending her life, and she died harboring secrets about the group and its individuals. Mikey especially needs to confront dark secrets about his own past and his father. How much of this darkness accounts for the emotional stupor Mikey is suffering from as he reaches his maturity? And can The Gunners, prompted by Sally’s death, find their way to a new day? The core of this adventure, made by Mikey, Alice, Lynn, Jimmy, and Sam, becomes a search for the core of truth, friendship, and forgiveness.
A quietly startling, beautiful book, The Gunners engages us with vividly unforgettable characters, and advances Rebecca Kauffman’s place as one of the most important young writers of her generation.
Mikey Callahan discovered something about himself when he was six years old.
I recently gathered a small pile of books to sample before choosing my next read. The Gunners was on top and by the end of the first page, I knew I wouldn't even open the others.
In The Gunners, I found a complex, satisfying, well-written novel about lifelong bonds evolving from childhood friendships. The suburban Buffalo setting felt comfortably familiar and, especially remarkable for such a short novel, I felt I knew and understood each character.
Reminiscent of both The Interestings and The Big Chill, The Gunners is my favorite novel so far this year. I've added Kauffman's debut novel, Another Place You've Never Been, to my reading list.