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?