We need to talk about kevin book review

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we need to talk about kevin book review

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

The gripping international bestseller about motherhood gone awry.

Eva never really wanted to be a mother - and certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevins horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

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Published 03.12.2018

We Need To Talk About Kevin - Book Review

BOOK REVIEW: We Need To Talk About Kevin

Thank you! Two years earlier, when he was not quite 16, Kevin Khatchadourian went on a murderous rampage and now lives in a juvenile facility, where his mother Eva visits him regularly if joylessly. Is she a bad mother? Is he a devil child? The implied answer to both is yes. Eva and her husband Franklin were happily married until she became pregnant in her late 30s.

Sarah A Smith on We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver, a misguided and discordant story about a teenage killer.
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A dark, witty tale of guilt and redemption

Well before the post-September 11 security crackdown, there were metal-detectors in American schools. We have become inured, by sheer repetition, to the grisly aftermath of the US high-school massacre. Just as these tragedies continue to occur, they continue to torment the literary imagination. Most prominent in fiction to draw on these sad episodes in contemporary history is D. Pierre's Booker prize-winning Vernon God Little. In it, a small Texan community - horrified by the mass murder of their youth by a disturbed native American boy who subsequently commits suicide - is in search of someone to blame. The mob alights on the killer's best friend, Vernon, whose unflinchingly satirical view of a town gone mad takes on messianic overtones as his inevitable martyrdom approaches.

Books seldom feel as contemporary as this one. Set against the farce of the counting of the votes in the US presidential elections, We Need To Talk About Kevin tells the story of a high-school massacre, similar to that at Columbine. And it asks the question all America has asked itself: why? However, it is not the novel's ostensible subject matter that has made it an underground success in the US. Told through letters from the killer's mother, Eva, to her absent husband, Franklin, the book explores the trials of maternity and the traumatic impact it can have on a marriage.

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