Eva Khatchadourian, separated from her husband, writes letters to him about their son Kevin who killed nine classmates and a beloved teacher in his high school’s gym. Eva writes letters to her husband, reflecting on the past to see just what went wrong. Was she a terrible mother? Is she to blame for this horrific act?
While this book primarily looks at the reasons for Kevin’s act, it also explores the “whys” of many other, factual school shootings and I found Eva’s theories on these evil deeds very intriguing. There is also a glimpse into Kevin’s perspective on what makes teens kill. This is not a political book with an agenda, however.
Although this book is quite dense and I struggled for the first fifty pages or so to get fully entrenched in the book, I was eventually absorbed in the language and the storyline of Kevin’s childhood. Eva seemed pretentious in the beginning, but she soon became a very relatable person. The struggle, in the beginning, is offset by the spectacular ending. I dare say, We Need to Talk About Kevin is powerfully written.
The author, Lionel Shriver, is an American journalist who currently resides in the United Kingdom with her husband. We Need to Talk About Kevin won the Orange Prize, now known as the Women’s Prize for Fiction.
“…You can only subject people to anguish who have a conscience. You can only punish people who have hopes to frustrate or attachments to sever; who worry what you think of them. You can really only punish people who are already a little bit good.”
Would you read this book? Have you already read it? Do you agree or disagree with my comments?
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I got my koi tattoo right after I got married, which felt like a victory in life, and I wanted to mark how far I’d come. I named it Yoshi after my favorite koi fish we’d had growing up. Yoshi ended up playing a part in saving my life. I got Yoshi because koi symbolize courage in the Japanese tattoo culture. And I’ve been through hell in my life and come out stronger, but then haven’t we all?
My Son’s Birth Story
When Sebby was born by emergency c-section, I had been doing well so they sent us both home. Unfortunately, I ended up back in the hospital by ambulance three days later. I was bleeding out because my stitches had dissolved too fast (with an autoimmune disease, I’m a very slow healer).
All that bleeding left a hematoma (basically a large blood clot) which the doctor wanted my body to reabsorb. They monitored me for a few days, but the hematoma became infected and the doctor decided to extract it. The extraction surgery was risky and I ended up in ICU for a couple days.
The Second Stay
In total, my second hospital stay lasted two weeks and I was on Dilaudid (a heavy pain reliever) for most of it. I felt horrible most of the time, but never so horrible as when they took me off the Dilaudid. I didn’t want to die, but I didn’t have any fight left in me either. I was just so damn tired…
BUT I had my new baby who could visit during visiting hours and I had Yoshi when Sebby couldn’t be there. I especially need my tattoo during the long nights of the fevers that wouldn’t break. Yoshi reminded me that I’d been through hell before and I could do it again. This is what I do. This is who I am. I have courage. I am strong. I can get out of this place. I can get home to my son.
UPDATE: I’m divorced now, which is another story of hell and courage for another post another day. However, it does not change how I felt about my marriage then.
What is your story of courage? How did you get to hell and back?
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