2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Tina has read 0 books toward her goal of 39 books.

Friday, December 5, 2008

REVIEW for Aftermath

If you are a Montrealer, as I am, you will forever remember the date of December 6th, 1989 - it was the date on which a crazed madman entered l'Ecole Polytechnique and shot and killed 14 woman! why??? well, there is much speculation, but the main reason - the killer hated women and felt that it was because of them that he had been turned down for admission at the school. His name was Marc Lepine - and now, almost 20 years later, his mother has spoken for the first time about the massacre in a book entitled: Aftermath.

I was torn between wanting to read this book and not wanting to read it! in the end, I am glad that I did. Here is my review.

Tomorrow will mark the anniversary of the massacre! May we keep fighting the violence that is committed, daily, to ALL the women of the world!

AFTERMATH - By Monique Lepine

I think every Montrealer will always remember the events that occured on that faithful day - how could Marc Lépine do this??? The question has lingered over the years.

In Aftermath, Marc Lépine's mother bravely tells her story - she tries to make sense of the impossible. I opened this book with trepidation - willing and more than ready to judge Monique - somehow it seemed to me that she should have known what her son was capable of - she somehow should have seen the warning signs - but after reading her story, I now realize that this senseless shooting was really only one person's fault and one person's responsibility - Marc Lépine.

Lépine is honest and forthright in this book - right from the start - where she states flatly that she was never a fulfilled mother and wife. Life for this family was very difficult, but no less or more so than with countless other families - what made them different is the fact that Marc chose to do what he did.

It is obvious that, after all these years, while Lépine has come to some kind of stillness about what happened, she is still, on many levels, struggling to find her voice - and this book is certainly one of the ways that she has chosen to speak up about what has happened.There are some surprising revelations here and, to me, the most surprising is that Marc Lépine was not raised by a monster, even if he became one himself.

Lépine writes about her fears, her thoughts and her hatred of what has occured. She writes of how difficult it is to be Marc Lépine's mother - she writes of how difficult it was for her to hear about the Dawson shooting, but most of all she writes about how difficult it is to BE Monique Lépine.

This book is a very hard read, there is no happy ending and there is no hero, including Monique herself who seems to have a knack for making the wrong choices. Yet, I found myself admiring Lépine for her courage to continue living and for her courage in writing this memoir. She has to know that she will be judged by her words - yet insists on finally speaking out on the shooting and its aftermath.

None of this will bring any of the victims back of course, but I must say that I loved this book - I found it courageous, respectful of the victims and most of all - I hope that Monique finds some peace in the words.I also thought the cover of this book was beautifully done.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I'm sure this was a very difficult book to read emotionally.

Alyce said...

I live in the US, and was not yet an adult when that happened, so maybe that is why I have never heard of this event before. I can't imagine what a mom would go through - having a child do something that horrible.

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