My mother was so good, she was too good. Some people would say that kind of goodness needed to be locked up. She was a cup of sugar. But sweetness is always looking for Mr. Bad and Mr. Bad can pick out Miss Sweet in any crowd-- just like magnets. Mr. Bad was the refrigerator and Miss Sweet was the 'Florida Loves Oranges' magnet sticking to the door.
Hello from Salt Lake City. I've been here for a conference the past few days, but have fit in some reading and running. I'm trying to make my way through at least most of the 2018 longlist for the National Book Award. I finally got a kindle version of Jennifer Clement's most recent novel, Gun Love. This book is entirely well deserving of the longlist honor. To be honest, I have a feeling Gun Love will end up as a 2018 finalist (the topic is just so timely). The book is a devastating story of childhood in the midst of America's gun violence epidemic. Pearl, a young girl with a single mom, lives in a trailer park riddled by gun violence. She survives off a steady diet of powdered milk and cigarettes. Pearl's neighbors collect guns in one of the empty trailers where she does her math homework (they sell these firearms in Mexico for a profit). Before reading Gun Love, I knew very little about firearm trafficking (aka gunrunning). Between the years of 2009 and 2014, more than 70% of confiscated guns in Mexico came from the United States. Clement tells the story of firearm trafficking from the perspective of a child, which is obviously heartbreaking. Gun Love is a beautiful novel, written in poetic prose. Some goodreads users seem to think the language is "pretentious." I think it's just beautiful. Well done, Jennifer Clement. I'll be rooting for you when finalists are announced next month.