Book: We need to talk about Kevin

Book: We Need to Talk About Kevin

Recommended by a friend at work, this is a book I wouldn’t recommend reading while you wait for the birth of your second child. Written as a series of letters from the mother of Kevin to his father. Kevin was the architect and executioner of a school massacre.

The writing is compelling – it’s a page-turner, and you can’t help but get swept up in the world of the novel, even as you proceed from one horrible situation to the next. Watching Kevin grow up, and learning – piece by piece – how he contributed to the decline of his parents’ relationship, and more.

There were several plot points I didn’t see coming. All the way through, you wonder what will happen – how the novel will be resolved – and the ending, I think works. You’re left with a few plot-points that are ambiguous, and thinking about the nature vs nurture debate around where children’s behaviour comes from. There’s no small number of adult concepts and language in here – this is not a book for children, or even young teens – but it’s a thought-provoking, sobering read.

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  1. I was blown away by this book, and have read some of Lionel Shriver’s other works since. It was gripping, and the last couple of pages… whoa.

  2. there is also a big question about how realiable the narrator is.
    You don’t really get anyone else’s POV in the story. Is it an attempt by the narrator to avoid the blame? But yes, it is fascinating!

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