We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver [Book Review]

We Need to Talk About Kevin 

Lionel Shriver

Book Review

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‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ is a story, told in letter form from Eva to her husband Franklin, about Kevin and his life leading up to and beyond the day he went on a carefully planned rampage of murder. Eva uses these letters to examine whether her son was truly evil or whether his behaviour could be down to her own dislike of her son, and her failings as a mother.

The whole of this book is written in letter form, and this took quite a bit of getting used to as I have never read a book written entirely in this form before. At first I struggled to get into the book because I felt that the start of each letter took me away from the bit of the story I was engrossed in and pulled me in a different direction. But, when I finished the book, I found myself with a complete understanding, and admiration, of how this book was written. It makes complete sense! I feel that I will really be able to appreciate the letter forms in the book when I re-read the book in future and I have a greater understanding of why they were chosen.

I found the storyline of this book very intriguing and gripping. I finished this book quite a few days ago now and yet I still can’t get certain parts out of my head. This is definitely a book that is very thought provoking.

I like that the book is narrated with a very biased viewpoint. We only ever see Eva’s interpretation and thoughts of everything, which gives the reader a choice of either believing everything that Eva says – or not trusting her at all. Is Kevin really evil? or is he actually the victim of a mother who cannot love her son? My personal views on this are still very mixed – I think that it is probably a combination of innate personality and the environment around him that led Kevin to be the way he is. Again, this is probably something I will examine more closely when I choose to re-read the novel.

One of my favourite things about the novel is the characters – they were very realistic and the interactions between them all seemed very genuine! At times I felt that I could have been reading a non-fiction memoir! Despite the characters being one of my favourite things about the book, I didn’t actually like any of them very much! I found Eva too judgmental, Franklin too naive, and Kevin…well.

Overall, I am extremely glad I picked up this book. I really enjoyed reading it and I think its a book that is going to stay with me for a long time. I highly recommend checking this out 🙂

5starrating

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