Friday Favorites: We Need to Talk About Kevin
Friday, March 5, 2010Posted by Melissa (Avid Reader)
I may be out on a limb with this one, but I'm ok with that. This is a strange book to list as a "favorite" because it's not one I'd pick up to re-read out of love for the characters. In fact the characters are decidedly hard to love.
It's something more than that. There's something about this book and the intimate way it was written that just cuts all the way to my bones. It is brutally honest. It says those things you're not supposed to say. It holds nothing back, makes no excuses and leaves the reader to form their own opinions.
The book is written in the form of letters from a woman to her husband. Here's a brief summary from Booklist...
"In a series of brutally introspective missives to her husband, Franklin, from whom she is separated, Eva tries to come to grips with the fact that their 17-year-old son, Kevin, has killed seven students and two adults... Guiltily she recalls how, as a successful writer, she was terrified of having a child. In crisply crafted sentences that cut to the bone of her feelings about motherhood, career, family, and what it is about American culture that produces child killers, Shriver yanks the reader back and forth between blame and empathy, retribution and forgiveness. Never letting up on the tension, Shriver ensures that, like Eva, the reader grapples with unhealed wounds."
I think it would be incredibly difficult to write a book that you know will cause some horrible responses, but she did an amazing job. It's a book that spurs discussion and isn't that what a great book is suppose to do? I highly recommend it, but that doesn't mean you're going to like it.
Have any of you read it? What did you think?