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Shriver approaches the tragedy of a high-school massacre from the point of view of the killer's mother. Eva, in the letters she writes to her estranged husband, probes the upbringing of their more-than-difficult child and reveals herself to have been a reluctant mother. As the schisms in her family unfold, the story draws closer to an unexpected climax that holds breathtaking surprises and its own hard-won redemption. 432 pp. 100,000 print.