we need to talk about kevin review

November 13, 2012

I went back and forth about writing a review on this book. Eventually I decided to give in because a lot of people asked me to – I aim to please, people!

We Need to Talk about Kevin is NOT a light-hearted, happy book – at all. In fact, the only reason why I had picked it up in the first place is because two women I work with convinced me to read it. It sounded much too dark for me, but I have to say, it was a good story. Disturbing? That too.

This fictional story is about a mother, Eva, and the event that now defines her life. Her son, Kevin, was responsible for a school massacre in New York in 1999. The story is made up of letters Eva writes to her husband about their life as a family, starting with their early dating life and marriage. I must admit, the first 50-75 pages of the book moved slow. I wanted to get to what happened already – to Kevin’s childhood, to what made him the teenager who had enough gall to commit such a heinous crime. As slow as it was, those pages and chapters were critical for the book’s development.

The letters the book is comprised of goes back and forth from the story of her role as a mother and present day where she visits her son in prison. I’m not giving anything away, and I really didn’t think there could be any twists and turns in a novel like this. But oh were there twists… and then some turns. I couldn’t believe how deep and multi-layered her characters were.

The whole story had me thinking hardcore. The really big questions I had when I was reading this book were all along the lines of parenthood. The mother, Eva, never really wanted to become a mother. Did she do this to her child by the way she treated him? Was he born with this evil streak? What is the role of a parent? What does unconditional love for your children look like?

I’m here to tell you that this book isn’t for everyone. Even after reading it, I’m not sure it was for me.I will also tell you I screamed a few times towards the end pages with some of the events that happened.  Despite the disturbing subject and anecdotes that went with it, I’m glad I read it. To really and truly understand what might go through someone’s mind that is an honest to goodness sociopath makes me scared for people who actually know someone like that.

Sooo, read it – or don’t. I can’t truly tell you what to do with this one! If anyone does read it though, PUH-LEASE tell me so we can have a book discussion about it. I need to decompress about it!

Here is another review about it – a much better written one than mine!

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