This was a difficult book to read. A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold. A Mother’s Reckoning, book review. When the Columbine massacre occurred in April of 1999, I recall judging the parents. In the dazed aftermath, stories abounded: the killers were goths, were bullied, were part of a terrifying “trenchcoat mafia”. They also planted bombs that – had they functioned as planned – would have taken the lives of hundreds more. This book was a huge undertaking. And if the bombs they planted had gone off it would have been much worse. 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. Klebold’s son became a murderer before he became a victim of suicide. A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy is written by Sue Klebold, mother of Dylan Klebold. Ever since I started the research, I knew I couldn't view them as monsters because it was far too simplistic. For the rest of us, her book provides a window into a special kind of hell – losing a child that the world views as a monster. Sigh, where to start. It is so heartbreaking. How did you not know that he was planning to blow up Columbine High School? The book details the childhood and teenage years of her son, and what she says are signs she missed that Dylan was suffering from clinical depression. However 80% of this book is her telling me what a normal family they were and what I normal childhood he had (and I believe it) and the other 20% that he had a brain disease and was suicidal (and I believe that too). $28. Like other reviewers have said, this is a hard book to review. I read it with great interest and curiosity. Along with her personal devastation, she was grief-stricken for the victims, their families, and the community. There is no way to tell and while media outlets seem to bask in finding a whipping boy, finger pointing serves no fruitful purpose. “To the rest of the world, Dylan was a monster,” she writes, “but I had lost my child.”. A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold had me glued to the pages from the start, except for when I had to leave it to get a box of Kleenex. *heavy sigh* I'm exhausted. Sue Klebold literally says countless times, I am not excusing what my son did, so for anyone to make claims that this was the tone of the book, either didn't read the book, or read so with a pre-disposed opinion of The Klebods and/or the Columbine tragedy. With each piece of new information, typically shared months apart, she would learn something new, shocking, and uncharacteristic about her youngest son. I finished this audiobook more than two weeks ago and I still really don't know how to review it. How does a mother or a father miss the signs of impending doom, the stockpiled weapons? On a work trip, she meets a computer teacher who pointedly says: “When you’re a good parent, you just sort of know what your kids are up to.” Eventually, the couple are sued, go bankrupt and divorce. Klebold bears not only her soul in her writing of A Mother's Reckoning, but also her failures as a parent that often are only evident in hindsight. First, I want to deeply discredit reviews that state this book is nothing but a mother making excuses for her son. I feel a lot of compassion for her. This is devastating. To see what your friends thought of this book, I agree with those who have said it gives one a renewed sense of purpose. It's a horrible story and one that we sadly see repeated year after year; and it's hard not to feel defeated, like things will never change and there's nothing we can do about it. Sigh, where to start. Perhaps the most unnerving thing about having a child is that you don’t know in advance who he or she or “they” will turn out to be. Sue takes us from, denial to acceptance and then to some kind of comprehension of her life and the part of the tragedy committed by her son. And this is why we have to think through our response to that story, noting her omissions, assumptions and blind spots – as well as her courageous insights into the unknowable nature of her son. Meanwhile she was asking herself the same question: should she – could she – have seen it coming? A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold My rating: 4 of 5 stars Bravo, Sue Klebold! Start by marking “A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy” as Want to Read: Error rating book. A great deal of this memoir is written from the perspective of what ac. Out of the worst tragedies there surely sprouts some specks light and hope. Anxiety, sensory overload, shaking, scratching, crying, dark thoughts and an overwhelming need to hurt myself and control the pain. By Rachel Shteir Globe Correspondent, February 17, ... After finishing “A Mother’s Reckoning,’’ I longed to know why. This book is very hard to read and even harder to review. I was stunned when I saw the news that day but I can't recall ever considering how the mothers of the shooters might be feeling. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published As the book progresses, Klebold takes the reader back in time to depict Dylan as a loving boy who was extremely helpful and loving. I can’t say that I wouldn’t do the same if I found myself in her shoes. Dylan Kleb. I was not a mother when Columbine happened. Dylan Klebold was one of the Columbine High School shooters, a murder spree whose infamy only grew in the months after events, once much of the evidence and backstory emerged. This book is heart wrenching and fascinating, but it very much feels like something Sue Klebold had to write for her own benefit, as part of her own healing process. … Dylan and Sue Klebold, erhaps the most unnerving thing about having a child is that you don’t know in advance who he or she or “they” will turn out to be. A Mother’s Reckoning spends some time trying to come up with a solution to the rash of mass shootings, mulling the disastrous failure of our gun legislation. It is definitely worth the read and changed my perspective on the parents of. Looks like I am in the minority on this one. And she is condemned to a life in which some people will always try to reassure themselves that their child would never do what Dylan did by blaming his parents in their parenting and for failing to see what was coming – no matter what Klebold has to say. I am a suicide survivor. Out of the worst tragedies there surely sprouts some specks light and hope. Yet Dylan carried out horrific murders, depressed or not. This is not to toss all the blame onto Harris, but Klebold posits throughout that her son's less aggressive nature surfaced in journal entries, recorded messages, and in footage of the actual school shooting. Rolling in Raindrops. There are tens of thousands to suicides every year and they don't take out a bunch of innocent people with them. Why is Dylan’s violence a symptom of disease but not Eric’s psychopathy? 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. Book Review: A Mother’s Reckoning. There’s no question that Klebold’s story is horrifying—a story of mass murder and its aftermath that blessed few of us will ever have to tell. A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold review – why my son killed at Columbine The troubling, bestselling memoir is a search for understanding and a confessional, as well as … In the wake of epic tragedy, how does a parent come to terms with their child murdering other children and adults? Let me start off by saying whenever one of these horrific events happens, I always feel so badly for the family because I know they are going to be blamed and that is not fair at all. At high school, he became absorbed in video games after failing to make the baseball team. What kind of parent are you? I'm giving it a 3.5 just in terms of the writing, readability and narrative flow but I am in no position to review the veracity of what happened here. It is sad, but down to earth and honest. I agree with those who have said it gives one a renewed sense of purpose. (She actually calls it brain health and brain illness throughout her book, for a very smart reason. But once she realises that Dylan was depressed, she begins to simplify her narrative, ascribing his participation that day to his “brain” illness and the insidious influence of Harris. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99. Instead of becoming paralyzed by her grief and remorse, she has become a passionate and effective agent working tirelessly to advance mental health awareness and intervention. Sue Klebold has the insurmountable task of penning this piece and trying not to get lost in the accusations surrounding the pall left by her son. It is definitely worth the read and changed my perspective on the parents of Dylan. Klebold is brave to try to tell her story. Review: A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold CONTENT WARNING: DISCUSSIONS REGARDING SCHOOL SHOOTINGS, VIOLENCE, MENTAL HEALTH I was a bit nervous going into this book and I’m not sure exactly what I expected, but I certainly didn’t expect a well-written book that made me feel more empathy for the family, especially the mother, of one of the Columbine shooters than I ever … 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. It was obviously extremely important for her to write this book, and admirably she is giving all profits to mental health research. “We’re the last people others would expect to find in this situation,” she thinks repeatedly on the day of the shooting. I only finished it recently. Over the years, after a long time researching the Columbine case, I'd learned to view Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris as human beings. The book begins on the day of the Columbine High School Massacre, and ends on the same day; except by the end Sue mentions all the things that she missed and would have done differently had she known about mental health issues. In April 1999, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris attacked Columbine High School in one of the largest school massacres in the US – setting a pattern for many that would follow. Who reads the audio version? Pain and suffering seems to envelop people, but there are many more feelings and emotions that layer themselves within the larger narrative of grief. I think she does a tremendous job of expressing her experience of mourning, while paying due respect to the families of Dylan’s victims. These are probably questions for another book, but they are questions that linger. Searching for answers, both in their own lives and that of their younger son, the Klebolds faced vilification over something they said they could not have predicted. Yet we persist in believing (it would be hopeless not to) that, once they arrive, we will in some deep way know our children, even as we grasp that parts of them will remain a mystery to us. But we never think about the killer's loved ones. Ever since I started the research, I knew I couldn't view them as monsters because it was far too simpl. Even she has asked herself the same question hundreds and hundreds of time. How could you not know that Dylan was. Review: ‘A Mother’s Reckoning’ – Sue Klebold. I'm not sure how she survived. There’s no question that Klebold’s story is horrifying—a story of mass murder and its aftermath that blessed few of us will ever have to tell. by Sue Klebold. If a true crime audiobook is your idea of the perfect listen, then this post is for you. Could she have seen it coming? No one wants to even have a passing thought that their child could kill another person, let alone murder many. A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold Published by Crown on February 15, 2016 Genres: Non-Fiction, Memoir, True Crime Goodreads | Buy on Book Depository. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Ever. I had just read Columbine by Dave Cullen and learned a ton about the school shooting in 1999. This book reads like a taut justification defending how good her family is, while very subtly hinting at how "others" live: I found Sue Klebold to be honest, empathic, and credible with the facts she gathered and presented them well, and willing to take responsibility for her son. It would be easy to admire Sue Klebold for her courage in writing a Mother’s Reckoning. "While every other mother in Littleton was praying that their child was safe, I had to pray that mine would die before he hurt anyone else.". Her son, a passive and shy high school senior about to go off to college, was dead and he was also a mass murderer. But She persisted in thinking everything was OK, even though Dylan had been suspended from school and arrested for stealing, with Harris, electronic equipment from a parked van. A Mother’s Reckoning is a sincere gesture in sharing and I thought Sue Klebold shared some very important information, messages and insight to living in the aftermath of tragedy. Both come down to a kind of moral luck and accident of biology. shooting, she … I read this book because a friend of mine suggested it. And part of my understanding at least a piece of this puzzle, I thought, was reading about the perspective of the woman who had raised Dylan. The journey to becoming a so called monster was too complex, and to understand why they came to do inhuman things you first need to understand how they were as humans in the first place. How could you not know that Dylan was purchasing weapons? (In fact, at times I felt ashamed of some of my own parenting lapses in comparison with hers.) Mental refers to something intangible, and some experts believe that if we change the terminology from ment. Poor victims and their loved ones!" I can't find that info here. On July 22, 2016 By thehodgenator In adult, nonfiction, the hodgenator. • To order A Mother’s Reckoning for £12.99 (RRP £16.99) go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. This story is about how Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has coped with her … Worse if the child’s death is a suicide. ... Posted in Uncategorized Book review mothers sons. Summary of A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold | Includes Analysis Preview: In her memoir A Mother’s Reckoning, Sue Klebold struggles. They murdered thirteen people – twelve students and a teacher – and injured twenty-four. A powerful book that does offer insight, angst, pain, and confusion in all forms, Klebold is to be applauded for coming out and speaking about these hard issues in a frank manner. And, as she says, she and her husband Tom were “good” parents. That seems to be the premise of this book and makes it the ideal choice for the buddy with whom I chose to read this. However, with the power of hindsight, Klebold could see what might have been warning signs of the smallest order. Review: A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold. True crime has been enjoying something... On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. It would be easy to admire Sue Klebold for her courage in writing a Mother’s Reckoning. Having interviewed and spoken with countless professionals over the years, she shares in the second half of the book the studies and professional opinions that support a greater emphasis on understanding, removing the stigma around, and treating brain health issues. To read it is to be unforgettably drawn into the devastation she endured: on the day of the attacks, Tom told her he was going to try to get into the school, and she tells him he could be killed. Her book is titled, “A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy,” and in it she chronicles the day of April 20, 1999 and the weeks following based on her journals. Disbelief turns to understanding as she finds herself recalling how Dylan became more sullen and withdrawn – behaviour she attributed to normal adolescent crabbiness. Sadder still when the child is young. I set this aside after finishing it and I almost wished I hadn't read it. How many of us teach our children to monitor their own brain health, or know how to do it ourselves?”, http://amothersreckoning.com/books/a-mothers-reckoning-hc, Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Memoir & Autobiography (2016). The minute he told me about it I put it on hold! She also spends much of the book suggesting that all parents should be extremely vigilant about any signs of depression in their children and teenagers because Dylan had done a very good job of concealing his true state of mind right up to the date of the shootings. ‘A Mother’s Reckoning’ is a rare insight into the life of a parent of a school shooter. Crown. It was heartbreaking. (She actually calls it brain health and brain illness throughout her book, for a very smart reason. Published by wendopolis. Like Klebold, I wanted to hear the answers to these questions, and I eagerly awaited for her book to be published to see what she had to say and to see what we all could learn from it. Worse yet, if the suicide is preceded by mass murder. As she tells the story, when Dylan called out “bye” the morning of the attacks, she heard in his tone “a sneer, almost, as if he’d been caught in the middle of a fight with someone”. They are also a victim. They had nothing to do with murders but people judge them and make their life a living hell. It is actually the exact opposite of that, and at times, almost has nothing to do with her son, but more of raising awareness on suicide and mental health. 305 pp. It was heartbreaking. What a monster! Eventually, the two perpetrators turned their guns against themselves and committed suicide. Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, who—along with his friend Eric Harris—opened fire on fellow students at … However we never get any insight as to why he tipped over the edge to commit mass murder. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Throughout, Klebold offers the argument that Dylan was a follower and that Eric Harris, his long-time friend and the other Columbine shooter, was the leader of this sadistic act. However 80% of this book is her telling me what a normal family they were and what I normal childhood he had (and I believe it) and the other 20% that he had a brain disease and was suicidal (and I believe that too). by Crown, A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. The diagnosis closes her questioning down. I give Klebold much credit for writing this book and for putting herself out here where many will continue to ridicule her, hold her in contempt or just full out not believe what she has to say. A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy is a 2016 memoir by Sue Klebold, the mother of Dylan Klebold.Along with Eric Harris, Dylan was one of the perpetrators of the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. In this account, Klebold also takes full responsibility for missing the signs that Dylan was depressed and in trouble admitting he did in fact show outward signals of suicide that she dismissed not recognizing them for what they were at the time, but now understands after consulting with numerous mental health experts. Yet by her own account, Klebold seems to have viewed parenting mainly as an act of setting boundaries and providing a nice middle-class home, complete with after-school snacks, rather than really listening closely to her child. I had a bad night a week ago. First, I want to deeply discredit reviews that state this book is nothing but a mother making excuses for her son. This book is about Sue Klebold, Dylan's (one of the shooters) mother, who has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. Her “sunshine boy” was a mass murderer. Book Review ‘A Mother’s Reckoning’ doesn’t dig deep enough. The troubling, bestselling memoir is a search for understanding and a confessional, as well as an account of catastrophe and grief, Last modified on Thu 22 Feb 2018 15.15 GMT. It was nearly impossible not to, considering I spent my time reading their journals, private online conversations, websites, jokes, accounts from friends and loved ones and teachers who liked and praised them as well as watching homemade videos they made for fun. I’m fairly sure that this is the longest book review that I have written, I have tried to cut it down but can’t, it seems that I have a lot to say about A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold and feel the need to say it! For now I will say that this broke my heart with it's bravery, honesty and compassion. She did so many things right by writing this book. On 20th April, 1999 Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went to school with the intention to kill. She has spent the last 15 years excavating every detail of her family life, and trying to understand the crucial intersection between mental health problems and violence. ~, “The ultimate message of this book is terrifying: you may not know your own children, and, worse yet, your children may be unknowable to you. Had Sue and Tom Klebold delved deeper into Dylan's life as soon as they can issues, would Columbine have been averted? “So?” he says. This book was extremely difficult to read at times, and I can only imagine how hard it was for Klebold to write. Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two shooters at Columbine High School in 1999 who killed 15 people before ending their own lives, a tragedy that saddened and galvanized the nation. 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