At Close Range: Review and Giveaway

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AT CLOSE RANGE: A MEMOIR
OF TRAGEDY AND ADVOCACY
By Leesa Ross

Categories: Nonfiction / Memoir / Personal Transformation / Advocacy
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Pages: 192
Publication Date: April 15, 2020


Scroll down for the giveaway!


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Leesa Ross did not expect to write a book. Neither did she expect the tragedy that her family endured, a horrific and sudden death that led her to write At Close Range. Her debut memoir is the story of what happened after her son Jon died in a freak gun accident at a party. Ross unsparingly shares the complexities of grief as it ripples through the generations of her family, then chronicles how the loss of Jon has sparked a new life for her as a prominent advocate for gun safety.  Before the accident, Ross never had a motivation to consider the role that guns played in her life. Now, she revisits ways in which guns became a part of everyday life for her three sons and their friends.

Ross’s attitude towards guns is thorny. She has collectors and hunters in her family. To balance her advocacy, she joined both Moms Demand Action and the NRA. Through At Close Range, the national conversation about gun control plays out in one family’s catalyzing moment and its aftermath. However, At Close Range ultimately shows one mother’s effort to create meaning from tragedy and find a universally reasonable position and focal point: gun safety and responsible ownership.

Purchase: Texas Tech University Press




At Close Range: A Memoir of Tragedy and Advocacy is a gripping account of a mother’s story and the loss of her child from a gunshot wound. Leesa Ross delves deep into her recount, her raw grief, how she picks up the pieces, and sets out on a path of safety advocacy. It was just one freak accident that completely changed her life. The painful details, how this affected her marriage and life. Her boy Jon was an adult when he had died. As a mother of a two and a half year old, this memoir really pulled me in it. What if that was me? I can’t even imagine that pain and heartache this woman had to go through, but reading her story pulled at the strings of my heart and really made me pause and listen. 


I grew up in a small country town. My father owned guns. I grew up around them and they have very much been a part of my life. But as an adult, and now that I have a child of my own, and reading this story, it really makes me ponder the pro and anti gun organizations. Where do I fall? I’m somewhere in the middle on the issue. But I appreciated and understood Leesa’s point of view on the topic. You completely understand why she journeys down the path that she does. And her voice, one filled with trepidation and pain, is a powerful voice that deserves to be heard. 


As for the writing, I really enjoyed getting lost in Leesa Ross’ story. Her experience is heartfelt and profound. The details and description she uses easily draws the reader in. Though a hard read from an emotional standpoint, her narrative pulls you in, easily. And once I started reading it, it was hard to put down. 


I feel like this book is a great perspective on a very important issue, especially in our country. Though I may not agree with some of her beliefs, I can and do appreciate hearing her side, seeing her story, reading about what had happened to her. It’s a book for discussing, for feeling, for considering. It’s thought provoking and heart wrenching. A non-fiction read unlike any I have read. It makes us think, gets us talking. And most importantly, it makes us feel.


 I hear you Leesa Ross. 


I hope others will too.


Rating: 4/5


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Leesa Ross 
is a debut author who’s transformed a tragedy into a mission for safety. After losing a son to a shooting accident, she formed Lock Arms for Life, an educational organization teaching gun safety. A Texas mother of three, she leads Lock Arms, sits on the board of Texas Gun Sense, and belongs to the NRA.







GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

FIVE WINNERS each get a hardcover copy of At Close Range.

US Only. Ends midnight, CST, 2/26/21

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