We need to talk about Kevin


Thank you EDIWTB and Harper Collins for sending a copy of 'We need to talk about Kevin'.

'We Need to Talk About Kevin’ is an Orange Prize-winner and the eighth novel written by Lionel Shriver.

This story, written from the mother’s perspective, is so detailed and filled with emotion that you feel the words as Eva writes letters to her estranged husband. You will be hooked from the first chapter, realizing parents in similar circumstances find a way to continue to live their lives, even when filled with regret and uncomfortable moments.

I am an authors dream reader and this novel is the perfect example. I am easily engaged and always surprised by plot twists and turns. As I read 'We need to talk about Kevin', with all it's sadness and emotion, I couldn't wait to see how the story would end. This is a brutally honest book with a unique slant on such a tragedy - thought provoking. An unforgettable look at our culture, getting right to the core.
I have recommended that members of the NFO read the online book club discussion on EDIWTBB – the author Q&A has posted, very interesting.

Type: Fiction, 400 pages, Trade paperback
Readers guide: Yes
Recommend for book club: Yes

Synopsis:
In a series of compelling and introspective letters to her estranged husband, Franklin, Eva Khatchadourian dissects her married life and her mothering of her son Kevin and daughter Celia in the aftermath of Kevin's Columbine-like school slaying of seven classmates, a cafeteria worker, and a teacher. Worried that her son's murderousness might have resulted from her deficits as a mother, Eva probes the most intimate and shocking aspects of her inner life, her marriage and her resentment of motherhood. This literary page-turner tackles the sensitive proposition that mothers can be unmoved by -- and even dislike -- their own children. Eva struggles with her lack of ready emotion when Kevin is first placed in her arms and with the subsequently hellish years of parenting a boy who both refuses to speak until the age of 3 and be potty trained until the age of 6, and who seems to enjoy nothing but the taunting of his mother. Having dramatically scaled back on her satisfying and profitable career, Eva becomes a stay-at-home mom who discovers that her son, while seemingly slow, is whip-smart and vindictive -- and cunning enough to play for his father with disastrous results. We Need To Talk About Kevin is a searing and complex look at the reasons couples decide to have children, the parent-child relationship, marriage, and the limits of love and loyalty.

Reviews:
Library Journal…The timely topic of Shriver's (Double Fault) eighth novel is sure to guarantee lots of attention, but the compelling writing is what will keep readers engaged. This is the story, narrated in the form of letters to her estranged husband, of Eva Katchadourian, whose son has committed the most talked-about crime of the decade-a school shooting reminiscent of Columbine. From the very beginning, the reader knows that Kevin has been found guilty and is in a juvenile detention center, yet the plot is never stale. Shriver delivers new twists and turns as her narrator tells her story. Through Eva's voice, Shriver offers a complex look at the factors that go into a parent-child relationship and at what point, if any, a parent can decide if a child is a hopeless case.

3 comments

  1. I could never read more than about 30 pages of this book at a time because of the emotions it generates. I couldn't imagine feeling the way Eva did about Kevin from the beginning, I couldn't fathom the relationship between Franklin & Eva and trying to pin down a feeling about Kevin was difficult. The book is written with brutal honesty; Eva does not sugar coat her own behavior or emotions. This book, exploring nature versus nurture, is definitely worth the effort.

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  2. Although this books is a heavy topic and at various times disturbing from a parent’s perspective, it opens the reader’s mind to the emotional impacts not typically not reported in the media – of those connected to the perpetrator as opposed to the victim. We Need to Talk about Kevin is a gripping story that has the reader’s attention from the beginning and is able to maintain it throughout the course of the book.

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  3. I think this book would have been quite different if Kevin had not been the first child. Eva might have appeared more sympathetic if we knew she could relate with Celia in a motherly fashion before we discovered she couldn't relate to Kevin.

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