A Mother’s Story

Nine years ago, Peter Westra was 24 years old, a successful young investment banker. He was in Atlantic City to meet up with his Middlebury college buddies for a friend’s bachelor party. Just 15 hours later, he was dead–kicked to death on a sidewalk by bouncers outside a nightclub.

After the Murder of My Son is Peter’s mother’s story of the day her life was shattered and the intimate retelling of how she put the shards back together again, to save herself and her family. Author Mary Westra bares her soul and takes readers along on her journey through utter grief, through the emotionally draining judicial process, to seeking hope and purpose, and finally finding a new normal and reclaiming life.

“In Mary Westra’s story of heartbreak and hope, all of us can see the fragility, the strength, and the love that informs our own lives”–Jeffrey Zaslow, coauthor of The Last Lecture and columnist for The Wall Street Journal

Mary Westra grew up in Northeast Minneapolis. She graduated from Macalester College and taught French for eight years before becoming a stay-at-home mom. When her two daughters and son became teenagers, she went back to work, launching a 10-year career of fundraising for arts organizations. She retired from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 2002, shortly after the murder of her son. Mary and her husband, Mark, live in White Bear Lake.

Mary Westra will discuss her book Monday, November 1, at 7:30pm, at Magers & Quinn. Details are here.–David E