The acclaimed New York Times bestseller by Sue Klebold, mother of one of the Columbine shooters, about living in the aftermath of Columbine.
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 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.
— Washington Post, Best Memoirs of 2016
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
After teenagers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 13 people at Columbine High School (before taking their own lives), many people blamed their parents. How could they not have known something was horribly wrong? Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, found herself wondering the same. A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy charts her harrowing struggle to understand how her beloved son became a killer and to come to terms with her own grief, shame, and regret. More than just a memoir of horror, Klebold’s powerful book seeks to help other parents by sharing what she’s learned about suicide, mental illness, violence, and bullying.
Hauntingly disturbing and enormously heartbreaking
My first thought reading this book was, of shock and disbelief at the possibility of this seemingly "normal" family having raised a son that would go on to commit such atrocities. My second thought was, my God, why hadn't Sue Klebold written this book sooner?! She could provide necessary insight that may save others! My third thought was one of realization. That to possibly process the enormity of the situation, reflect on Dylan's life as a whole & then to face the undeniable truth, would take anyone a lifetime to reconcile. Never mind put most of it into words, let alone an entire book. My final thought, EVERY parent should read this book and then read it again. It could save a life, including the life of your own child!
Finished the book with a broader definition of who all the victims were from Columbine. Like many, I was quick to vilify the Klebold parents, based on the misinformation presented in the media at the time.
After 16 years & other school shootings, Klebold offers insights and answers questions that she hopes to help others, based on her personal recollections of events.
Lives can't be given back or time reversed, but after 16 years, hopefully, trying to learn from Sue's story is an attempt at healing.
The general public has no right to pass judgement on these parents...only the victims & their families. Thank you for sharing your story, Sue. May you find inner peace and purpose for the remainder of your life, for which much has been robbed.
A Mother's Reckoning
A heartbreaking story of love and loss written with courage. Helped me understand and appreciate the suffering some of our children go through and how they can hide it all. Susan makes no excuses for her son's role in the shooting but writes with the angst and confusion that she felt through her process of discovery and eventual forgiveness. I have read this book twice and both times the rawness of Susan's writing and her ability to describe what she has been through has hit me hard. I hope she finds some peace.