**Longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction 2018**
Gun Love is a hypnotic story of family, community and violence. Told from the perspective of a sharp-eyed teenager, it exposes America's love affair with firearms and its painful consequences.
'My mother called anyone or anything that seemed alone, or ended up in the wrong place, a stray. There were stray people, stray dogs, stray bullets, and stray butterflies.'
Fourteen-year-old Pearl France lives in the front seat of a broken down car and her mother Margot lives in the back. Together they survive on a diet of powdered milk and bug spray, love songs and stolen cigarettes.
Life on the edge of a Florida trailer park is strange enough, but when Pastor Rex's 'Guns for God' programme brings Eli Redmond to town Pearl's world is upended. Eli pays regular visits to Margot in the back seat, forcing Pearl to find a world beyond the car. Margot is given a gift by Eli, a gun of her own, just like he's given her flowers. It sits under the driver's seat, a dark presence.
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Modern Fiction and Literary Fiction