Book summary: The House Gun

1998 BY NADINE GORDIMER

A house gun—kept like a house cat: a fact of ordinary life at the end of this century where violence is in the air. With that gun the architect son of Harald and Claudia has committed what is to them the unimaginable act—shot dead the intimate friend he discovered making love to his woman. And the relationship between the three is revealed to have unimaginable meaning...
How has Duncan come to abandon the sanctity of human life they taught him? What kind of loyalty do parents owe a self-confessed murderer? In post-apartheid South Africa the defense of their son's life is in the hands of a black man: Hamilton Motsamai, a flamboyant, distinguished advocate returned from political exile. The balance of everything in the parents' world is turned upside down.

The House Gun is a passionate narrative of that final text of complex human relations we call love, moving from the intimate to the general condition. If it is a parable of present violence it is also an affirmation of the will to reconciliation that starts where it must, between individual men and women.

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