Celeste Ng, follows up her last inter-cultural masterpiece, ‘Everything I Never Told You’ with a book that traces the class and cultural differences in US. The story is so compelling that you turn pages instantly, and the writing so good, that you regret only so much is left. The characters, particularly the teenagers – Lexi, Chip, Moody, Izzy, and Pearl are drawn really sharply, and distinctively. The only drawback is the excessive back stories of the adults – Mrs. Richardson and Mia – that slow down the pace of the book. An interesting lesson there – sometimes the writers feel compelled to tell us the back stories of some of the main characters , to tell us how they came to be what they are, and sometimes the readers only want to get on with the story and don’t really care. Overall, a brilliant book.
A must read.
Sue Klebold, the mother of one of the perpetrators of Columbine High School shooting – which ranks as one of the worst high school tragedies in US – presents her side of the story. How in a perfectly normal household of loving, caring parents, her son Dylan, defying all the teachings of his growing up years, participated in a massacre that left fifteen kids dead and twenty four injured. At a very fundamental level, it is a wake up alarm for all parents with teenage kids. It is a chilling account of deceiving abilities of kids – that what they want to hide from their parents – they will. Klebold’s struggle to accept the reality and her son’s accountability for the death of many children is engaging. Her tale of the shock she felt, the guilt with which she lived and how she turned it around to support suicide survivors is a heart-rending story. The writing is a bit circular and the book could have been shorter but the book scores with its content.