Mrs. Winchester’s Gun Club


Douglas Bruton

Category: Fiction
: 978-1-910895-24-5
Format: Softback
Pages: 283
Price: £9.99
Release date: June 2019

‘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.’

A gripping novel based on the true tale of an old woman’s conscience. Left a fortune by her husband’s invention of the Winchester Rifle, Sarah is visited by the deaths of people who have been shot.

Mired in her grief following the death of her husband and child, Mrs Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, visits a fortune teller. She receives no solace, only confirmation of her family’s wrong-doing, and so goes west. There, room by room, she builds a house and provides for the dead: those killed by the Winchester rifle, each with a bloody and violent story to tell.

Every day Sarah Winchester is faced with new challenges; from the harshness of her environment to her own failing health and everywhere she goes she is followed by the clamour of voices – the members of the Winchester Gun Club.


About the Author

Douglas Bruton has been writing for thirty years. He has published short story in anthologies and he has won many prizes for his writing in the last eight years. These include the Neil Gunn Prize and the William Soutar Prize. He has also published in many literary magazines. These include Northwords Now, Interpreter’s House, Transmission and Bare Fiction Magazine. This is his first full length novel published by Scotland Street Press.


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?”


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