Title: WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KELVIN
Author/ Year: Lionel Shriver/ 2004
In this gripping novel of motherhood gone awry, Lionel Shriver approaches the tragedy of a high-school massacre from the point of view of the killer’s mother.In letters written to the boy’s father, mother Eva probes the upbringing of this more-than-difficult child and reveals herself to have been the reluctant mother of an unsavory son. As the schisms in her family unfold, we draw closer to an unexpected climax that holds breathtaking surprises and its own hard-won redemption. In Eva, Shriver has created a narrator who is touching, sad, funny, and reflective. A spellbinding read, We Need to Talk About Kevin is as original as it is timely.
MY THOUGHTS ON THE BOOK…
I must admit I was initially scared of reading the book. Mainly because of the reviews and the comments that I have heard and read about it. But when i finally came around to reading it, it was worth the wait. A gripping thriller. Now I am scared of watching the movie.
Although told in the first person narrative as a series of letters from Eva (A tormented mother of a troubled 15-year-old son) to her husband, the structure strongly has the element of a thriller. A realistic and engaging story that is bound to leave you with questions of your own (as parents).
The book dwelt majorly on parenting, and brought up the old argument of nature-versus-nurture. Who is to blame when a 15 years old boy walked into his high school gymnasium and killed 9 people, 7 kids and 2 adults.— him, or you, as his parent? What led him to that moment — the way he was raised, or something innate that has been growing inside him over the years?
The story lacks a tidy resolution as to why Kevin did what he did on that thursday, but it was enough to bag the Orange Prize for fiction for the author,Lionel Shriver, in 2005.