Book Club Pick

The Gunners by Rebecca Kauffman

Book Club Pick: August 2021

Title: The Gunners

Author: Rebecca Kauffman

Series: Stand alone novel

Country: United States of America

Publisher: Counterpoint Press

First Published: 2018

Pages: 260

Publisher Description:

The Gunners used to be inseparable. A gang of latchkey kids, they took their name from the doorbell of the abandoned house they played in as children – and drank in as teenagers. Mikey, Sam, Lynn, Alice, Jimmy and Sally are more than a family than just friends.

One day, Sally suddenly stopped speaking to them and they drifted apart. Years later, Sally’s suicide bings the Gunners back together. All of them have secrets, but who was actually responsible for Sally disappearing from their lives? Now well into adulthood, it’s time to come clean about what each of them really thinks happened.


A group of friends, who haven’t seen each other since high school, now 30 years old gather for the funeral of Sally, a childhood friend who has taken her own life.

Sally, near the end of high school suddenly and without explanation broke off contact from their group that called themselves ‘The Gunners’ – a name the came from an abandoned property that they used as a hangout as kids.

All of the friends have left their working-class upstate New York town except for Mikey Callahan, who is the closest to a central character in the novel.

Mikey, is losing his sight due to early-onset macular degeneration. He lives a solitary life and struggles to make connections with people.

Those who return home are Alice a brash lesbian who speaks her mind, Lynn a gifted pianist whose dreams were shattered by a severed finger and subsequently has had battles with alcoholism, Sam who found his faith after working at a Christian camp, and Los Angeles-based Jimmy who has had financial success and owns a lake house near their childhood hometown.

Each of the friends harbours a secret and feels that they are responsible for Sally leaving their friendship group.

The novel is written in third person and switches between the present day and scenes from their childhood.

The Gunners is a novel of friendship, memories, and secrets.


Rebecca Kauffman Official Website

Source: I borrowed this book from my public library.

By Graeme Cash

Film, television, theatre, popular media culture, ya fiction, travel...pretty much my life. Based in Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

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