We Need To Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver. Read in 2018.
Yes, let’s talk about Kevin… in fact, let’s talk about the family.
Mum – EvaDad – FranklinSon – Kevin
Eva openly admits to never wanting children and has a very obvious dislike for her son. You can’t really blame her. He does some absolutely horrendous things. She always knows it’s him. Only once in the entire book is he accused of something that wasn’t his fault. The rest of the time he is an absolute nightmare. It’s no wonder she feels uneasy around him and doesn’t trust him or even like him.
Just a few days before his 16th birthday, Kevin murders 7 students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher. He is sent to prison and his mum visits him regularly. When she isn’t visiting, she is writing letters to her estranged husband. She take us (& him) through their life together and it gradually leads up to the day he went to school and opened fire.
Eva is writing to Franklin, two years after the event that she calls ‘Thursday’. Kevin is about to turn 18 and she is questioning everything.
We hear quite a lot about Franklin during these letters and honestly, I do not like him. The fact that he always sides with Kevin is insane. Sometimes, what Kevin has done is so obvious and yet he will still protest that the boy is innocent. He never once sticks up for his wife. She knows what is going on and feels powerless to stop it.
The ending was a strange one for me. A massive part of it I had guessed at the very beginning so that didn’t surprise me at all. Another part left me completely shocked. One of the reviews says that the last paragraph ‘took their breath away’. I didn’t feel that happen. I felt that a bit more on the second to last letter. The last letter I was really disappointed by. (But that’s just me!)
Overall, on Goodreads, I have this 3/5 stars. It is a very good book and very well written but it just didn’t quite fulfil my expectations.
That being said, I would love to read another of Lionel’s books because her style of writing is different and very intersting.
Side note: The book doesn’t have chapters. It is letters the entire way through. At first I was put off a bit by this but then I realised what was happening and it all made sense.
I do recommend this book but personally it wasn’t one of my favourites.