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Publisher's 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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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An eye opener.

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

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  • aspin
  • 02-19-16

"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 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • T L ELSDON
  • 03-01-16

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.....

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Dell Tasker
  • 02-27-16

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Philippa
  • 02-25-16

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 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Barry John Moylan
  • 04-01-16

Honest and Frank.

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • 06-04-16

Detailed account through the eyes of the person who should know the perpetrator the best, the mum

You hear much from the families of the victims in mass murders, but not about the aftermath for those of the perpetrator, which I have sometimes wondered about. So here I found my chance.
The account of what happened and what Sue and her family went through comes across as honest, which as an outsider I can only assume is the case.
The read is at times as must be expected disturbing, not least because Dillion's family upbringing seemed as regular as could be expected, in fact to a higher standard than many, yet still there were no signs of any risk that this atrocity could occur. Perhaps to much emphasis on "mind health", but then again is that the essence of what occurred? The read Is thought provoking to say the least.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-14-17

a brave mom for any kid to have

a great person....unfortunately she had the misfortune to have a son like Dylan, who caused permanent devastation to all with their acts of destruction and self destruction. I was going through hard times myself and I always try to learn something, and there's much to learn from the pain of other people, not just your own.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-29-17

Fantastic book , 5 star

This book was absolutely amazing, I have now become very interested in mental health, I will study NVQ level 5 on mental health.

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  • Alan
  • 08-21-17

An import book

A stunning account from a different perspective. We seldom think of the family of murderers and the burden of guilt they carry. This book tells the story of a mother who has spent years trying to understand how and why her son did what he did.

She makes no excuses and seemingly leaves no rocks unturned in her pursuit for some kind of reckoning or truth.

She also makes the case for understanding how these tragedies are primarily murder-suicides; her son chose to die that day, before he went on his murder spree. Her assessment and research into the brain illness that leads to suicide is rigorous and engaging and I left the book feeling that murder-suicide is behind the modern terrorism that has peppered western cities in recent years. Here, as in Columbine, we have young men (they're always men and they are usually young) carrying out mass murder but they are also choosing to die themselves.

If the author is still struggling with the regret, shame and horror of what her son did at least she has sued des in opening up a debate in which murder-suicide is taken seriously and parents, peers, teachers, health professional and law enforcers are better equipped to understand and hopefully prevent it.

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  • Matthew Elliott
  • 08-18-17

Sue Klebold is brave beyond words, truly heartbreaking.

Having grown up in the aftermath of the events of Columbine, it changed my school life and the world's perception of innocence forever.
Sue's story, is as heartbreaking as the subject and I truly feel so sorry for all she has endured in the near two-decades since the disaster.
I cried a few times during this Audiobook and had to call my mother, to seek comfort and understanding - and I'm almost 30.
Sue Klebold, is an extremely brave woman and I urge everybody to familiarise yourselves with her story and take her lessons, to continue to enlighten those who may be in similar situations.
Thank you Sue and good luck for the future xx

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  • Katie
  • 10-24-16

heartwrenching

Such an amazing story and well narrated. I really feel for sue klebold and her cause. I learnt so much from her story. so heart wrenching.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • suzannah
  • 03-27-16

Brilliant

Wow this book was amazing . It was not only well written but the way the story was told has made me view the whole incident differently then I did before I read this book. I can not recommend this book more than I have. Read this book it will change your view on the whole situation

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • zico
  • 06-02-17

A lifetime of attonement for a sons deeds.

In a heart breaking story i could feel the grief of the author with every passage. A fascinating take on the Columbine tragedy this book makes a strong statement about the importance of mental health in our youth and gives real meaning to the phrase "there but for the grace of god go I". Sue Klebold is very brave for sharing her thoughts, feelings and years of pain with us. The book also says a lot about connectedness with our children and how difficult it can be for teenagers it can be to share their innermost feelings but why this is so important.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-10-17

Engaging and heartbreaking

Such a tragic story but inspiring woman. Would recommend to anyone interested in mental health.