A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy
Author(s) Sue Klebold
Published 2016
Publisher Crown Publishers
Country United States
Pages 305
ISBN 9781101902752

A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy is a book by Sue Klebold, published by Crown Publishers, New York City, NY in 2016.


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.

Table of contentsEdit

Chapter Page
Introduction by Andrew Solomon xi
'Preface xix
Part I: The Last People on Earth
Chapter 1: "There's Been a Shooting at Columbine High School" 3
Chapter 2: Slivers of Glass 18
Chapter 3: Someone Else's Life 32
Chapter 4: A Resting Place 49
Chapter 5: Premonition 52
Chapter 6: Boyhood 57
Chapter 7: One Mother to Another 81
Chapter 8: A Place of Sorrow 106
Chapter 9: Life with Grief 108
Chapter 10: The End of Denial 125
Part II: Toward Understanding
Chapter 11: The Depth of His Despair 151
Chapter 12: Fateful Dynamic 165
Chapter 13: Pathway to Suicide: Dylan's Junior Year 173
Chapter 14: Pathway to Violence: Dylan's Senior Year 207
Chapter 15: Collateral Damage 239
Chapter 16: A New Awareness 242
Chapter 17: Judgment 255
Chapter 18: The Wrong Question 268
Conclusion: Knowable Folds 229
Acknowledgments 281
Notes 285
Resources 293
Index 297


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