We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

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I feel everyone already knows the plot of the book so I’ll be brief: Kevin kills nine of his classmates, a cafeteria worker and a teacher in a massacre. The beauty is in the telling. It took me a while to get into, I’m glad I persevered. Eva is a strange character. She’s not warm and instantly likeable. I would say she first came across cold and reserved. She’s the first to admit such things. She’s analytic, a thinker yet she’s full of doubt and questions which is why she needs to talk about what happened and the events leading up to it. The book is a series of letters to her husband where she lays herself bear and reveals her fears, the fear of every mother: being a bad mother. There’s no such thing as bad children, only bad mothers, and we like to point fingers. The terrible truth is no one teaches you to be a parent. In her defence, Eva does try.

I grew to understand Eva. You don’t necessarily get attached to Eva, despite her honesty, she still manages to keep you at a distance. I was drawn to Kevin. I was truly fascinated by his character. We all get that way about killers and murders. We want to understand the big fat why. WHY? Eva does visit Kevin after the fact and I relished those moments. I savoured the words, turning the pages, when does the author reveal the big fat why? Obviously, I’m not going to tell you. Like I said previously, Eva is analytical. She goes over Kevin’s upbringing and puts it under a microscope. I like to think it’s presented to us to make up our own minds. We are the jury in the case of The World vs Kevin’s Mum.

Kevin is fictional but there is no doubt in my mind that the rest is fact. There are a number of shootings and school shooting and work place massacres mentioned in this book including Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s shooting at Columbine High School where they killed twelve students and a teacher. Eva recites these facts with ease. They’re as common as sliced bread. Like Eva, you reach a point when you no longer react to this act. Like saying the word cunt one million times, after the first few thousand, it loses its bite. Being British, this fascinates me. However, that’s a bigger conversation that doesn’t belong in this review. Kevin even admits to being jaded, over shadowed and forgotten because Columbine had one more victim. The point I’m making is: this book is special, Kevin is not.

Watch my video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2C33d0JDCI

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