“Some day they’ll go down together
they’ll bury them side by side.
To few it’ll be grief,
to the law a relief
but it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde.”
(Excerpt from the poem “The Trail’s End” by Bonnie Parker)
Rating: 4/5 stars
I am assuming, optimistically, that we have all heard of the story of Bonnie and Clyde, so I am hoping that this excerpt of a poem, written by Bonnie Parker herself, does not serve as a spoiler to anyone. Bonnie: A Novel, by Christina Schwarz is a fantastic view into, what can only be guessed based on interviews/poems/conversations, was the mindset of the infamous Bonnie Parker. I found this novel to be captivating from the beginning and, despite knowing how the ending, found the literary ride thrilling.
Bonnie Parker grew up with a loving mother and father for the first few years of her life until her father died in a work-related accident and her mother, Emma, had to move the family to West Dallas. As our author describes “Bonnie was a natural performer who dreams of becoming a star”. Married and a high school drop out at 16, her husband later arrested despite them staying married, Bonnie meets the charismatic Clyde and the rest is, as they say, history. Many know their exploits, but what I love about this novel is that it dives into Bonnie both before and after Clyde, which gives her a more accurate representation.
I loved how the author wrote this work of fiction while still allowing you to get an accurate glimpse on who Bonnie Parker was, as opposed to who she was made out to be. I feel that this novel really gives you a view into the mind of Bonnie, her unending love for Clyde, and the danger that this puts her in leading to their ultimate demise. I highly recommend reading this book as it took a historical figure, who is more notorious for the end of her life, and presented her as a real person across her sadly short lifespan.
GBC Reader Reviews