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A Mother's Reckoning

Living in the Aftermath of the Columbine Tragedy
Narrated by: Andrew Solomon, Sue Klebold
Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (218 ratings)

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Summary

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 12 students and a teacher and wound 24 others before taking their own lives.

For the last 16 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 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 organisations focusing on mental health issues.

©2016 Sue Klebold (P)2016 Random House AudioBooks

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Fascinating and sad

I had not known much about the background of the people and their families involved in the Columbine Massacre. Sue Kelbold's account of her upbringing of Dylan and her experience in the aftermath of the shooting is fascinating and dignified whilst being in-depth. Her sorrow for the loss of her son and those who died or were injured by him and his friend Eric Harris is palpable. Her sadness at uncovering Dylan's depression and suicidal ideation comes clearly through the text. I wish her luck in her recovery

4 people found this helpful

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"An Excellent Audiobook"

What made the experience of listening to A Mother's Reckoning the most enjoyable?

Honestly told by the author

What did you like best about this story?

Honestly told by the author

Which character – as performed by Sue Klebold and Andrew Solomon – was your favourite?

Sue Klebold

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

its not really the sort of book you would make a film about

Any additional comments?

No

4 people found this helpful

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Compelling

What a brave book - have so much respect and empathy for the author. An important and very interesting insight into the columbine tragedy.

3 people found this helpful

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Wow

Would you consider the audio edition of A Mother's Reckoning to be better than the print version?

To hear Sue klebold read the book make all the difference.

What other book might you compare A Mother's Reckoning to, and why?

Can't think of any

Have you listened to any of Sue Klebold and Andrew Solomon ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Not applicable

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Definitely, desperately wanted to know how this woman survived such a unique set of circumstances.

Any additional comments?

I have no idea how this woman is still alive today given what her son, Dylan, put her through. The ultimate test of a mothers love.... I understand from listening to this book how the victims families must have felt, however, for sue to feel the need to explain in a book, her pain was also if not worse.... Having to grieve for a child you thought they were and then grieve for the person they had become.....

6 people found this helpful

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A very important read

Brilliantly written, opened my eyes in so many ways. Highly recommend for all people - family members, professionals working with young people and everyone else.

2 people found this helpful

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A true account

I like the way the author was honest about her life and the devastation which hit her family. She writes with genuineness and ease. It helps to show an outsider what she & her family endured. I can’t but feel compassion for the Mother she was & is today. She is one brave woman with a lot of love to give.

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Incredible

This book moved me so much. It is told by Susan Klebold with such humility, it had me in tears often. A powerful and important story, of love, loss and tragedy, but also holds so many important messages around mental health.

2 people found this helpful

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Honest and Frank.

Heartbreakingly honest account. Sue Klebold should be heralded for her bravery in publishing this account.

2 people found this helpful

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Columbine and 'brain health'

I was in the USA when the Columbine shooting happened in the April of '99. As new details emerged over the years, I became more curious about this case and the aspects that led the two shooters embracing each other in life and death. Harris was a simmering but calculated individual who was waiting to unload, but the role of Dylan Klebold in the killing spree always left me perplexed. When I finished this book, I was left feeling very sad for Susan Klebold. She was a good, caring and attentive parent who was misdirected and beguiled by her own son who was given a relatively comfortable, stable and nurturing upbringing. Dylan concealed his mental illness (poor brain health) very well and became inseparable with Harris. They shared much in common, despite being world's apart in terms of personality. There are lessons to be learned from Susan Klebold. How many people are left confused, shocked and devastated after the suicidal or homicidal behaviour of an offspring or other relative or friend? Many, I expect. Very sad to see promising youngsters like Klebold resorting to homicide and suicide because they believed that was the only road to take. It's almost 20 years since the Columbine shooting; every victim alive or dead, should be remembered. Very sad time for the families involved. No doubt this is one of the most infamous shooting sprees in the history of America. The two shooters, full of promise, intelligent, young and appealing, appear to have attained a 'fan club'... a cult following over the years. Check out social media; it's not hard to find. This admiration and affection is of course, a total contrast to the devastation that the two lads left behind. An unfathomable mountain of devastation for all families involved. The events leading up to the shooting appear to be turgid in development, fragmentary and complex. It didn't surprise me that not one person saw it coming. With hindsight, one certainly can't point the finger at Sue and Tom Klebold.

1 person found this helpful

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You have to read this book

Shocking and horrific but lovingly told with bravery. She is so strong for writing this, so heartbreaking for everyone involved.

1 person found this helpful

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  • kimstories
  • 07-04-18

deeply moving

not always easy to hear and empathise with, I think this is a side to school mass shootings we all need to listen to. hating the families of the killers does not help to prevent future tragedies. raw, emotional and real this book with make you question yourself and your ideas.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-05-17

An eye opener.

Brave, honest and heartbreaking.
A mothers reckoning is a must read for parents, teachers and teenagers alike.