We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Let’s just be honest up front: this is not an easy read. It is chilling and terrifying and discusses themes that are difficult to talk about. What makes someone a murderer? Was Kevin born a killer or was he made that way because his mother didn’t love or nurture him enough? Is it nature or nurture that makes someone kill?
This is one of those rare books that I felt a little bit bipolar about. While it is insightful and interesting, the first few hundred pages are a little tedious. However, as the story picks up and we understand the themes, the motivation, the emotions (particularly Eva’s), it becomes ‘impossible to put down’ gripping.
Told in a series of letters by Eva to her husband, Franklin about their son Kevin, Eva explores her alarming dislike for her son and how she might have failed at being a mother. Controversial, interesting, chilling, this has a strong hook, hard-hitting themes, and fantastic writing. The characters are pretentious and hateful, although utterly realistic, and it’s clear this is fantastic writing at work.
It’s a horrific subject to handle, especially in today’s climate, but Shriver does it gracefully and eloquently. A solid 5 star from me, and if you want a meaty book to discuss, I highly recommend this one.