Love Give Us One Death: Bonnie and Clyde in the Last Days by Jeff P. Jones
Jones is careful to emphasize the fiction portion of this Bonnie and Clyde tale. While many points of this lyrically-written historical fiction are taken from first-hand accounts, Jones brings the two young lovers to life in a way that is entirely his own. Considering how Bonnie and Clyde have entered into the realm of American legend, perhaps this approach is is the one to take.
The story weaves from the beginning of their fiery relationship to their deaths on a country back road in Louisiana. The format is more poetry than novel. Screenplays, transcripts, poems, songs, comic strips, police transcripts, journal entries, and letters are scattered throughout the story, most are Jones’ creations. The prose itself waxes poetic, turning the book into something of a ballad.
Jones sets Bonnie and Clyde’s tale against the real-life post apocalyptic wasteland of the Great Depression and the Dustbowl. Poverty, massive storm fronts, and the sense that the world is coming to an end (which is what it certainly must have felt like in the Midwest during the 1930s) roll into one chaotic fervor that mirrors the anarchy of Bonnie and Clyde.
I would recommend this book for historical fiction fans who don’t mind a bit of a dense read. The rhythm of the prose takes some getting used to, and it is slow to get started. Once you get into it though, you begin to appreciate the unique voice Jones has provided for his two antiheroes.
A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Love Give Us One Death is currently available for purchase.