What was the message of Mystic River? Spoilers

I read this book recently, and then watched the movie, too. I enjoyed it immensely - the book far better than the movie. Crime genres are not usually my thing, but the book flowed smoothly and told a gripping story, though I was pretty sure Dave hadn’t killed Jimmy’s daughter, though it was kind of ambiguous.

What was the message I was supposed to take away, though, if any? That one act can change three, or even six lives? Or something more specific about child molestors?

Or is it just a good, if hard, book to read? It seems like it appealed to many people, though - it won all kinds of awards.

Any thoughts?

I don’t think there was a message, at least not in the book. Dennis Lehane writes superbly-crafted novels but I’ve never taken a message away from any of them, other than life sometimes sucks, deal with it.

I haven’t read the book, but that was the message I took from the movie. Particularly after Jimmy talked about how his life would have been completely different if he had gotten in the child molester’s car instead of Dave. It was so random, and yet it set the course for the entire story.

Wow… this was one of maybe only two or three books in my entire life, I just couldn’t finish. I thought it was so slow and boring.
I enjoyed the movie though. I’ve never read any other books by Dennis Lehane… but even though I didn’t like this book, he’s still a better writer than Dan Brown.

The book flunked my 50-page rule (if it hasn’t hooked me after 50 pages, I put it down guilt-free), alas, and I never saw the movie, although I know how both end. I’d say it’s about the randomness of life, the certainty of loss and sorrow, and the ultimate futility of revenge.

Justice is not always done.

You can’t escape your past.