Sutherland Springs: God, Guns, and Hope in a Texas Town

Hachette. Mar 2020. 304. ISBN 9780316451154. $28. SOC SCI
The small Texas town of Sutherland Springs was thrust into the national spotlight following a mass shooting at First Baptist Church in November 2017. Journalist Holley (Hometown Texas) spent more than a year getting to know the town and its people in order to learn how a community can recover from tragedy, and how a church can cope with losing half of its congregation on a single morning. By staying in town long after other journalists left, Holley was able to gain the trust of many of the residents, allowing him to share their stories of not only pain and tragedy, but of deep faith and hope. Telling these stories alongside explorations of Texas gun culture and debates over gun legislation provides a personal and nuanced view on a topic where nuance is needed but rarely found.
VERDICT This smoothly written account, simultaneously filled with heartbreak and hope, should be read by all who wish to understand the growing rise of these incidents. Highly recommended.

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