The NYT posted their online review (to run in print in the Feb. 28 Sunday Book Review) of A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. Sue Klebold, Andrew Solomon, (PRH/Crown) on Feb. 15.
Just a few days later the paper felt the need to post a follow-up piece to summarize some of the over 900 comments the review prompted.
That level of engagement with the book is reflected in libraries across the country. Holds are growing and libraries haven’t caught up with them.
We reported in “Titles to Know and Recommend” last week that ABC News was covering the book in a big push, with an ABC Prime Time Special with Diane Sawyer, promoted on Good Morning America. The author also appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air on Tuesday.
The book clearly touches nerves, as indicated by the remarkable number of personal reactions to it from reviewers.
Entertainment Weekly gave the book an A grade, saying:
“This book, which can be tough to read in places, is an important one. It helps us arrive at a new understanding of how Columbine happened—and, in the process, may help avert other tragedies.”
The LA Times‘s reviewer, responding both to the book and to the ABC coverage, writes:
“I believe Sue Klebold … I feel so sorry for her — I really do. Did you watch 20/20? Her pain is so raw, her vulnerability so extreme. I want to reassure her: One way or another this book will change lives. What it won’t do is bring Dylan back … And what it also won’t do, is my guess, never mind what I believe, is allow Sue Klebold to forgive herself.”
The Washington Post reviewer says:
“Reading this book as a critic is hard; reading it as a parent is devastating. I imagine snippets of my own young children in Dylan Klebold, shades of my parenting in Sue and Tom. I suspect that many families will find their own parallels. This book’s insights are painful and necessary, and its contradictions inevitable.”
The book is currently #31 on Amazon’s sales rankings.