She Left Me the Gun: My Mother's Life Before Me PDF õ


She Left Me the Gun: My Mother's Life Before Me [EPUB] ✻ She Left Me the Gun: My Mother's Life Before Me By Emma Brockes – Thomashillier.co.uk A chilling work of psychological suspense and forensic memoir, She Left Me the Gun is a tale of true transformation the story of a young woman who reinvented herself so completely that her previous li A chilling work of Me the PDF/EPUB ì psychological suspense and forensic memoir, She Left Me the Gun is a tale of true transformation the story of a young woman who reinvented herself so completely that her previous life seemed simply to She Left MOBI :↠ vanish, and of a daughter who transcends her mother s fears and reclaims an abandoned past One day I will tell you the story of my life, promises Emma Brockes s mother, and you will be amazed Brockes grew Left Me the PDF/EPUB ë up hearing only pieces of her mother s past stories of a rustic childhood in South Africa, glimpses of a bohemian youth in London and yet knew that crucial facts were still in the dark A mystery to her friends and family, Paula was clearly a strong, self invented woman glamorous, no nonsense, and frequently out of place in their quaint English village In awe of Paula s larger than life personality, Brockes never asked why her mother emigrated to England or why she never returned to South Africa never questioned the source of her mother s strange fears or tremendous strengths Looking to unearth the truth after Paula s death, Brockes begins a dangerous journey into the land and the life her mother fled from years before Brockes soon learns that Paula s father was a drunk megalomaniac who terrorized Paula and her seven half siblings for years After finally mustering the courage to take her father to court, Paula is horrified to see the malevolent man vindicated of all charges As Brockes discovers, this crushing defeat left Paula with a choice take her own life, or promise herself never to be intimidated or unhappy again Ultimately she chooses life and happiness by booking one way passage to London but not before shooting her father five times, and failing to kill him Smuggling the fateful gun through English customs would be Paula s first triumph in her new life She Left Me the Gun carries Brockes to South Africa to meet her seven aunts and uncles, weighing their stories against her mother s silences Brockes learns of the violent pathologies and racial propaganda in which her grandfather was inculcated, sees the mine shafts and train yards where he worked as an itinerant mechanic, and finds in buried government archives the court records proving his murder conviction years before he first married Brockes also learns of the turncoat stepmother who may have perjured herself to save her husband, dooming Paula and her siblings to the machinations of their hated father Most of all, She Left Me the Gun reveals how Paula reinvented herself to lead a full, happy life As she follows her mother s footsteps back to South Africa, Brockes begins to find the wellsprings of her mother s strength, the tremendous endurance which allowed Paula to hide secrets from even her closest friends and family But as the search through cherished letters and buried documents deepens, Brockes realizes with horror that her mother s great success as a parent was concealing her terrible past and that unearthing these secrets threatens to undo her mother s work A beguiling and unforgettable journey across generations and continents, She Left Me the Gun chronicles Brockes s efforts to walk the knife edge between understanding her mother s unspeakable traumas and embracing the happiness she chose for her daughter.

    She Left Me the Gun: My Mother's Life Before Me PDF õ friends and family, Paula was clearly a strong, self invented woman glamorous, no nonsense, and frequently out of place in their quaint English village In awe of Paula s larger than life personality, Brockes never asked why her mother emigrated to England or why she never returned to South Africa never questioned the source of her mother s strange fears or tremendous strengths Looking to unearth the truth after Paula s death, Brockes begins a dangerous journey into the land and the life her mother fled from years before Brockes soon learns that Paula s father was a drunk megalomaniac who terrorized Paula and her seven half siblings for years After finally mustering the courage to take her father to court, Paula is horrified to see the malevolent man vindicated of all charges As Brockes discovers, this crushing defeat left Paula with a choice take her own life, or promise herself never to be intimidated or unhappy again Ultimately she chooses life and happiness by booking one way passage to London but not before shooting her father five times, and failing to kill him Smuggling the fateful gun through English customs would be Paula s first triumph in her new life She Left Me the Gun carries Brockes to South Africa to meet her seven aunts and uncles, weighing their stories against her mother s silences Brockes learns of the violent pathologies and racial propaganda in which her grandfather was inculcated, sees the mine shafts and train yards where he worked as an itinerant mechanic, and finds in buried government archives the court records proving his murder conviction years before he first married Brockes also learns of the turncoat stepmother who may have perjured herself to save her husband, dooming Paula and her siblings to the machinations of their hated father Most of all, She Left Me the Gun reveals how Paula reinvented herself to lead a full, happy life As she follows her mother s footsteps back to South Africa, Brockes begins to find the wellsprings of her mother s strength, the tremendous endurance which allowed Paula to hide secrets from even her closest friends and family But as the search through cherished letters and buried documents deepens, Brockes realizes with horror that her mother s great success as a parent was concealing her terrible past and that unearthing these secrets threatens to undo her mother s work A beguiling and unforgettable journey across generations and continents, She Left Me the Gun chronicles Brockes s efforts to walk the knife edge between understanding her mother s unspeakable traumas and embracing the happiness she chose for her daughter."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 320 pages
  • She Left Me the Gun: My Mother's Life Before Me
  • Emma Brockes
  • English
  • 13 July 2018
  • 1594204594

About the Author: Emma Brockes

Emma Brockes born Me the PDF/EPUB ì is a British author and a contributor to The Guardian and The New York Times She lives in New York.



10 thoughts on “She Left Me the Gun: My Mother's Life Before Me

  1. Chrissie Chrissie says:

    Although the author expresses herself well, the book needs editing Too many events are thrown in in an unclear fashion The author s family is large and I could not keep everyone straight, other than the author s mother s seven half siblings, at least when they were identified with their given name A mother is spoken of and you wonder is that the author s mother or her mother s mother or..which mother There are wives and cousins and friends and enemies galore Few had the same opinion abo Although the author expresses herself well, the book needs editing Too many events are thrown in in an unclear fashion The author s family is large and I could not keep everyone straight, other than the author s mother s seven half siblings, at least when they were identified with their given name A mother is spoken of and you wonder is that the author s mother or her mother s mother or..which mother There are wives and cousins and friends and enemies galore Few had the same opinion about a given event The whole story becomes confusing, and it is unclear what information is reliable Squabbles and drinking influence everyone s story And yet, in any family, don t we all have different versions of the given events Life in South Africa is also thrown in, with some brief sections on Nelson Mandela and a few other political figures, but what is the purpose of this book Is it to relate how historical events affect families No, I don t think so Is it the author s attempt to understand her mother and her own family She says that is why she is writing it, but then why does she say she will return but doesn t Or is this simply someone writing a memoir about their family Ahhhh, this will make an exciting book I ve got a story to tell Everyone nowadays wants to write their own memoir The basic story here is about a dysfunctional family, about alcoholism and sexual child abuse, and yes, the events are shocking My guess is that the author needed to work through her own loss of her mother after her death That IS reasonable, and it IS great to hear of her mother s strength of character, but I see this as a personal story, not one that I can empathize with Maybe that is my fault rather than the author s, but that is how I reacted Maybe the author through writing the book reached closure, but do you write a book and publish it when you are doing this for yourself I, the reader, am left confused and without closure This book will perhaps beappreciated by one who has dealt with child abuse and alcoholism in their own family for them, this may be a helpful book In the audiobook the author reads her own book, and she does this very well She has a British accent, since her Mom had her after she had immigrated to England England was her home if never really her mother s It is interesting kids should realize their parents have had a whole life before they ever arrived on the scene and often we know very little about that previous life Do we ask and do our parents tell us I did like this book, but it should have been better organized, made less confusing and cleaned up a bit, so for me it ended up just being OK Often, but not always, I did like how she strung together her words How an author writes is important to me Some authors have such a talent and others just don t I do think I would try another book by this author

  2. Julia Julia says:

    Not exactly the work of chilling suspense promised in the blurb but that s OK What I enjoyed about this book was the way in which the author conveyed that disconcerting feeling that your parents are both people you know and, at the same time, historical characters with a whole life before you existed.

  3. Karol Karol says:

    This was a difficult book to read on several levels First, it describes the worst imaginable situation for children in a highly dysfunctional family there were many things in it that just plain made me sick.Style wise, the book jumped around a bit as the author embarked on a journey of discovery about her mother s life before having a husband and child of her own There were so many different people involved in the story, and so many different accounts of what happened that I had difficulty fo This was a difficult book to read on several levels First, it describes the worst imaginable situation for children in a highly dysfunctional family there were many things in it that just plain made me sick.Style wise, the book jumped around a bit as the author embarked on a journey of discovery about her mother s life before having a husband and child of her own There were so many different people involved in the story, and so many different accounts of what happened that I had difficulty following it at times.Still, the author s journey to understand her mother s before life before was engaging and illuminating in some ways

  4. Kate Kate says:

    Full disclosure I received an ARC through theVine program Before that I had marked this one as to read but the chances of that happening were minimal, had I not received a free copy.I thought I was done with memoirs they had all been following the same dusty and worn path through the same family dysfunctions, the same foreign vistas, the same unhappy marriages The same redemption through therapy or backpacking or child rearing or organic farming It must be difficult writing one s Full disclosure I received an ARC through theVine program Before that I had marked this one as to read but the chances of that happening were minimal, had I not received a free copy.I thought I was done with memoirs they had all been following the same dusty and worn path through the same family dysfunctions, the same foreign vistas, the same unhappy marriages The same redemption through therapy or backpacking or child rearing or organic farming It must be difficult writing one s memoirs, I thought Sorting through all of those memories, digging up all of that pain, only to have some old lady like me, who devours three books a week finish yours feeling bored and listless, because, frankly, lady or dude, you have no problems that aren t mirrored in one of my family members, let alone fifteen other memoirs currently in print and sitting on the front table in Barnes and Noble right now, paperback cover curled up from the bottom, flapping in the breeze as latte customers exit through the doors You have taken no drastic steps towards fulfillment that can t be read about somewhere else, that can t be dug up over Manhattans with a co worker or grandmother or old friend Not much is new under the sun This isn t to say I d given up hope on memoir in general I just didn t know how a person could possibly write one of interest, unless they were already well known and or respected for some other accomplishment Curing cancer Being an artist Writing books that aren t about themselves Two books of late have reopened the possibility of memoirs as a genre to me Sonali Deraniyagala sWaveandShe Left Me the GunWave, I ve reviewed elsewhere and will only mention here that it turned the disaster survival and grief memoir subgenres on their heads, for the clarity and honesty of the prose and the grace with which it is written in the face of such a terrible life storyShe Left Me the Gunis not so remarkable for it s story, which is given up in the book s blurb It stands out because it was written like a novel A young woman s mother dies, leaving her with a crust of a family story and a few addresses and like that young woman is off in search of adventure and her history in a new land, knowing from the crust of what she knows that what she ll find isn t pretty There isn t the ooh look at me flash and bang that other memoirs succumb to when the writing runs out There is no obnoxious autopsychoanalysis to stretch this book from 125 pages to 300 There is good prose, a solid story peopled with lively characters, and like all good stories about people, some small reflection of your own self in them Despite what the graphic artist who did the cover and Nora Ephron, who apparently developed the title, would have you know, the gun plays only a small role in the narrative This isof a tribute to an indomitable woman, Paula Brocke, by her daughter who wanted to finish that one last conversation with her mum

  5. Vicky "phenkos" Vicky "phenkos" says:

    I became interested in this book when I read a newspaper article by the author about her mother s death and how difficult she had found having to spend a night on her own in her deceased mother s house Despite lacking any belief in ghosts, the soul or the afterlife, I ve had a very similar experience myself, so when I found out Brockes had written a book about her late mother I couldn t wait to get my hands on it.The title is extremely interesting and intriguing She left me the gun What kin I became interested in this book when I read a newspaper article by the author about her mother s death and how difficult she had found having to spend a night on her own in her deceased mother s house Despite lacking any belief in ghosts, the soul or the afterlife, I ve had a very similar experience myself, so when I found out Brockes had written a book about her late mother I couldn t wait to get my hands on it.The title is extremely interesting and intriguing She left me the gun What kind of gun was that, I wondered A real gun or a metaphorical one as when we mean to say something about mother daughter connections, matrilineal lines or loaded relationships The first few pages got me sucked in The book begins with a story about the narrator s grandmother in South Africa who married a man that was a talented carpenter, a talented artist, a convicted murderer and a very bad poet Just putting the words convicted murderer amongst the others makes for a very exciting first paragraph What was the murder he had been convicted for Did the grandmother know about this Did he commit another one The picture of that grandfather on page 1 a tall, slim man with fine features and smart clothes does not belie any murderous inclinations.Alas, the grandmother dies two years after she gives birth to a baby girl the narrator s mother and we get to know a few bits of family history That the family on the grandmother s side lost touch with the baby that the grandfather remarried that when that girl grows up she goes to London where she marries and has a daughter the narrator that she doesn t talk very much about the past and only tells her duahter a few stories about her childhood, her work, her friends And then comes the crucial bit When she was in her mid twenties, she said, she d had her father arrested There had been a highly publicised court case, during which he had defended himself, cross examining his own children in the witness box and destroying them one by one Her stepmother had covered for him He had been found not guilty.Bang Shock and awe That woman, Brockes, sure knows how to draw one in Another murder Theft Incest Probably the latter as young girls do not normally get their fathers arrested except when they ve done something horrible to the family Who did he do it then, herself or a sibling This court case of an evasive crime becomes the backbone of the book Unfortunately, there is a problem here as Emma Brockes weaves two different threads, a journey of discovery about her mother s past and a detective story that needs to get resolved It should be possible in principle to integrate these two threads successfully but I found myself skipping bits of the discovery part to get to the detective part Was it indeed incest as we suspect at the beginning If so, who was the victim What happens when the father is declared not guilty Does he turn against the daughter, and if so, does she have to flee Is that why she leaves for London I think the problem is that with the court case and insinuation of incest Brockes has such a strong story on her hands that the interest of the reader gets chanelled to that at the expense of the other elements process of self discovery and identity formation On the plus side, the writing is excellent and one does get to see a mother daughter relationship as it unfolds and develops over time

  6. Carol Carol says:

    It s one of those memoirs that remind you why you liked memoirs in the first place, back before every featherhead in your writers group was trying to peddle one NY Times Book ReviewMesmerizing, with sharp and precise writing and a fascinating woman the author s mother at the center Skillfully avoids being excessively grim despite the subject matter.

  7. Nicole Nicole says:

    I ll preface by saying that I read the advanced uncorrected proof and a good edit might make a huge different, but as it stands the description of a chilling work of psychological suspense is inaccurate This isn t a mystery or a crime novel, it s a memoir and you understand early on exactly what happened Regardless of the misleading description, I have mixed feelings about this book On one hand I love that Brockes is so awe struck by the strength that her mother had in leaving behind an abu I ll preface by saying that I read the advanced uncorrected proof and a good edit might make a huge different, but as it stands the description of a chilling work of psychological suspense is inaccurate This isn t a mystery or a crime novel, it s a memoir and you understand early on exactly what happened Regardless of the misleading description, I have mixed feelings about this book On one hand I love that Brockes is so awe struck by the strength that her mother had in leaving behind an abusive childhood to not only find her place as a strong woman in the world, but to give her child a safe and loving home I think that each and every one of us is humbled by such acts of courage and would love to find an opportunity to pay tribute to the quiet heroes like Paula So for that, I applaud Brockes.However, this book was as much travelogue for Brockes as it was tribute to her mother While I understand that you could only tell so much of Paula s struggle to build a new life without Paula as a source, the mundane details of her travels such as Brockes s drinking parties or her apathy toward work were not of any interest to me

  8. Bettie Bettie says:

    BOTW view spoiler BBC BLURB When journalist Emma Brockes was ten years old, her mother, Paula, said One day I will tell you the story of my life and you will be amazed Growing up in a tranquil English village, Emma knew very little of her mother s life before her She knew she had grown up in South Africa and had seven siblings She had been told stories about deadly snakes and hailstones the size of golf balls There was mention, once, of a trial But most of the past was a mystery.When h BOTW view spoiler BBC BLURB When journalist Emma Brockes was ten years old, her mother, Paula, said One day I will tell you the story of my life and you will be amazed Growing up in a tranquil English village, Emma knew very little of her mother s life before her She knew she had grown up in South Africa and had seven siblings She had been told stories about deadly snakes and hailstones the size of golf balls There was mention, once, of a trial But most of the past was a mystery.When her mother dies of cancer, Emma by then a successful journalist at the Guardian feels the need to uncover her history She travels to South Africa, to the extended family she has never met, and unravels a daunting tale, the events of which her mother had kept from her events that, even amongst her mother s siblings, were never discussed.Emma Brockes story of her mother s past is warm and moving, in moments upsetting, and ultimately redemptive, as she rediscovers her mother.Emma Brockes is a feature writer at the Guardian She studied English at Oxford University, where she edited Cherwell, the student newspaper, won the Philip Geddes Prize for Journalism, and graduated with a first In 2001 she won Young Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards and a year later was voted Feature Writer of the Year, the youngest ever recipient of the award Outside journalism she has written a one act play called The Prompt , and a book on musicals entitled, What Would Barbara Do How Musicals Changed My Life.Writer Emma Brockes Reader Alison Pettitt Abridger Pete Nichols Producer Karen Rose A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4. hide spoiler After the events of this week I m not much looking for further real life dramas This ll come around again on R4x at some point I ll catch it then

  9. Lauren Lauren says:

    Brockes mother Pauline left South Africa as a young woman and it is not until Brockes is an adult and her mother has died that she finds out the full story of her mother s family In some ways, this is an incredibly disturbing book Pauline s father was a violent and sexually abusive alchoholic and the stories about him are truly horrific But it is just as much about the ability to create a life worth living out even out of the most difficult of surroundings Also, Brockes has a very light to Brockes mother Pauline left South Africa as a young woman and it is not until Brockes is an adult and her mother has died that she finds out the full story of her mother s family In some ways, this is an incredibly disturbing book Pauline s father was a violent and sexually abusive alchoholic and the stories about him are truly horrific But it is just as much about the ability to create a life worth living out even out of the most difficult of surroundings Also, Brockes has a very light touch I found myself laughing a number of times, though granted the hunour was very dark It s amazing what people live through An excellent book

  10. Laura Laura says:

    From BBC Radio Book of the Week Warm and moving memoir in which the author uncovers dark family secrets.Books of the Times Family Ghosts, Kept at Bay NYT review From BBC Radio Book of the Week Warm and moving memoir in which the author uncovers dark family secrets.Books of the Times Family Ghosts, Kept at Bay NYT review

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