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19 minutes book review #blogboost

10 Jan

Yesterday’s post about what happened at school and the most recent school shooting in Conneticut  got me thinking of a book I read awhile back. Well, to be honest, its a book I think of often without direct reminders. It was just one of those books that leaves an impression on you.
The book is called 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult. The book is centered around a school shooting. At the time that I had read the book, there had only been a small number of school shootings. Never would I or could I have imagined then, that that would just be the tipping point of it all.
The book starts out at the scene with parents running around frantically searching for their kids after being called to the school and trying to figure out what happened. We follow one mom in particular on her search. By the time the first chapter wraps up, we not only find out the shooter was, but we find out it was her son.
The rest of the book jumps back and forth between a moms perspective, a dads perspective and the other classmates who survived. As the trial gets underway, we go back in time and learn some back story into the shooter’s life and events that led to him make to this decision on this day. We watch as the mother deals with what her son has done. We watch as she struggles with the fact that she lost her son that day too, even though he was still alive.  She lost the son she thought she knew, the son she thought she raised and the son he would never become. We watch how the mother struggled with what was happening to her son earlier in his life and the guilt she wrestles with now based on those decisions she made at the time.

As parents we all are just trying to do the right thing and do what’s best and we believe we are doing just that with the decisions we make, but our decisions are tainted by events that have happened in our own lives, by situations and the feelings that have happened to us. And sometimes our own experiences force us to look away when we should be looking or walking away when we should be stepping forward. We all believe we are making the right choice, or we wouldn’t make them, but then as times passes and further events unfold, we realize we may not have done the right thing but realize there’s no way to go back and correct it either.

The story takes many twists and turns as do many of her books and of course there is a twist at the end that you don’t see coming. The book captures the emotion of all parties involved and takes on the issue of bullying at a time when bullying was just being brought to the forefront.

There are few books that have struck a chord in me like this one. What stuck with me most wasn’t the devastating shooting itself.  For me, it was the situations from the boys childhood that we see through his mothers’ perspective that sit with me still. It’s certainly hard to have any sympathy for the shooter in a situation like this, but through these events you gain some insight as to what is going on in his head. It was easy to indentify with the pain and confusion that both mother and son were facing.

If you are looking for a good book offering up a different perspective and can handle some gut wrenching mother guilt, I highly recommend 19 MInutes by Jodi Picoult.

, I can only imagine if this had happened in my small town. The shooter along with any family would not have an easy time. People need to blame others to help with their own healing and get the anger out somewhere. My town is no different. This book made me think beyond the incident itself into what could have led someone to do something so horrific.

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One Response to “19 minutes book review #blogboost”

  1. Teri January 10, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    I read this book last summer and was jarred to the core. It definitely gives you a new perspective on victim AND shooter and makes you think about how you’re raising your children and what is going on in their heads and their friends’ heads. Wonderfully written book.

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