REVIEW: We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver

We Need to Talk About KevinRating: 4 out of 5 stars, Genre: Genre, Pages: 400, Reading Level: Intermediate

Book Description:

The gripping international bestseller about motherhood gone awry.

Eva never really wanted to be a mother – and certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin’s horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

I don’t know how many times I have started and abandoned this review; I am having quite the time figuring out how to write it.

Kevin is a very good book with numerous opportunities for discussion and debate, most dealing with parenting.

The book is written as a series of letters to a woman’s husband after their son performed a school shooting, of sorts. A bit cryptic I know but there is a lot about this book that I think should be discovered in the process of reading. I went into Kevin without knowing anything more than the summary and the revelations were fun. Okay, fun or enjoyable isn’t the right word because of the subject matter, but I think you understand what I am saying.

I am not fond of the journal entry style of writing but it didn’t bother me here. In addition, the story jumps back and forth in time. I don’t have a problem with it but I know others do, so I thought it prudent to mention. Finally, it took me about 75 pages to get into the story; if you decide to read it, don’t give up.

Please excuse the brevity of the review, but I honestly believe it is for the best. While the subject matter is truly disturbing, I still recommend We Need to Talk about Kevin.

Reviewed by Christina
July 1, 2014

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