Mrs. Winchester’s Gun Club is a work of literary fiction, set in San Jose, California at the turn of the 20th century. Guilt mires Sarah Winchester. When her husband dies, she inherits the fortune of husband’s invention of the Winchester rifle. After, her own complicity in the deaths of those killed by the rifle, haunts her relentlessly. So, in an effort to ease her conscience, she begins the construction of the Winchester House, a maze of rooms meant to house the dead Sarah cannot seem to escape.
The novel masterfully handles themes of grief, responsibility, atonement and ultimately forgiveness through a multitude of vibrant voices. Based on a true story, this tale is gripping from the start, drawing readers in with elegant prose and posing questions that linger on readers’ minds long after they set the book down. While never veering into the political, the novel delves into subject matter that is all too relevant amidst the USA’s current gun crises. The Winchester House seems to be representative of an America in crisis: an America that despite change remains stagnant in its views, that is apologetic yet uncompromising. As Sarah asks, ‘Is it enough to be sorry, if sorry is a feeling that runs through everything that you think or do?’
‘At a time when it seems as if a new mass shooting takes place in the US almost every day, the publication of Scottish writer Douglas Bruton’s Mrs Winchester’s Gun Club could hardly be more timely.’
'One day there was a message from my dead grandmother. I knew the crack and clack in her voice, and I passed what she said on to her daughter, my mother.'