On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives.
For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently?
These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day
since the Columbine tragedy. In A Mother’s Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts.
Filled with hard-won wisdom and compassion, A Mother’s Reckoning is a powerful and
haunting book that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our time. And with fresh wounds from the recent Newtown and Charleston shootings, never has the need for understanding been more urgent.
All author profits from the book will be donated to research and to charitable organizations focusing on mental health issues.
There aren’t a lot of people who don’t know about the terrible tragedy that was Columbine school shootings which happened in April 1999. If you’re wondering if you are empathetic, all you need to do is pick up this book and read it, I guarantee you that by the end of it, you’ll have gone through at least 6 boxes of tissues! It’s truly and heart wrenching read.
Sue, is Dylan Klebold’s mother, and he is one of the shooters that killed 12 students and one teacher, and wounded as many as 25 others. She thought she knew her son, thought that all he needed was love and everything that ‘good parenting’ entails. However, she finds out in the worst way possible that there was a lot more going on with him than what she saw on the surface. How do you deal with something so horrific? Your son’s suicide, and the fact that he was partly responsible for the murder and injuring of others? Sue really does a magnificent job of baring her soul, her thoughts, her failures, and her ignorance for the world to see.
It was really eye opening to read what she had to go through, including the awful things from strangers that came from all around the world. People tend to forget that she, and her family, were victims as well. She paints us a picture of the son she thought she knew, and the painful path she walked when it was revealed who he really was. You just can’t imagine.
She does do a great job in sharing various information that she has learned about mental health (or brain health as she likes to call it), violence, and school shootings by interviewing various experts over the last 16 years. Things that sometimes people don’t think about, or know about, or have been told a skewed or wrong information. However, there were times when it was very much biased information that she was sharing. I suppose that’s only to be expected, and she does do a good job to try and avoid it. She shares a lot of information that is helpful for parents to know, and just people in general. I think the message to ‘think before you speak/type/rant’ is poignant in this book; not just about this tragedy, but to other like it. It’s pretty easy to throw blame when you live in a black and white world. Some of us know that the world isn’t black and white though, there’s a lot of grey. And essentially, mental health can be grey at times, because of our individuality.
Overall, this was a fantastic read. A real eye opener in that you get to experience some of what it’s like for families who are involved in tragedies like this. Hopefully, you feel a little more empathy and compassion at the end of it, if you didn’t already.
I rate this book: 4.5/5
You can purchase the ebook here
Happy buying and reading!
3 thoughts on “Review: A Mother’s Reckoning – Living in the Aftermath of the Columbine Tragedy By Sue Klebold”
I’ve heard a lot about this one. I shall add it onto my TBR!
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Goodness, that must have been a difficult book to write and read. This sounds fascinating and I’ll add it to my TBR for when I can handle such strong emotions. Thanks for the thoughtful review!
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Thank you. It was an excellent read and yes I did shed a few tears while reading. You really can’t imagine the wave of hideous emotions this poor family have had to endure. It’s often the victims who receive the sympathy and empathy, yet the offenders family and friends are forgotten or blamed. Really put things in perspective 😢