In a series of long letters to her husband, Eva tries to make sense of the heinous thing their son Kevin did. Eve never really wanted to have children so did her ambivalence toward Kevin cause his later actions? In a gripping exploration of parental responsibilities and nature vs. nurture, Shriver’s prize winning novel tells of a non-maternal mother and a passive father willing to overlook some obvious red flags from their son who starts as a difficult baby and grows into a troubled teen. The subject is harsh and the writing is complicated but the journey is worth it and you’ll need to talk about Kevin when you’ve finished.
— Sydne, Atlanta
Now a major motion picture by Lynne Ramsay, starring Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly,Lionel Shriver’s resonant story of a mother’s unsettling quest to understandher teenage son’s deadly violence, her own ambivalence toward motherhood, andthe explosive link between them reverberates with the haunting power of highhopes shattered by dark realities. Like Shriver’s charged and incisive laternovels, including So Much for That and The Post-Birthday World, We Need to Talk About Kevin isa piercing, unforgettable, and penetrating exploration of violence, familyties, and responsibility, a book that the Boston Globe describes as“sometimes searing . . . [and] impossible to put down.”
“Ms. Shriver takes a calculated risk . . . but the gamble pays off as she strikes a tone of compelling intimacy.”
“An underground feminist hit.”
“A slow, magnetic descent into hell that is as fascinating as it is disturbing.”
“Shriver handles this material, with its potential for cheap sentiment and soap opera plot, with rare skill and sense.”