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 understand her teenage son’s deadly violence, her own ambivalence toward motherhood, and the explosive link between them reverberates with the haunting power of high hopes shattered by dark realities.
Like Shriver’s charged and incisive later novels, including So Much for That and The Post-Birthday World, We Need to Talk About Kevin is a piercing, unforgettable, and penetrating exploration of violence, family ties, and responsibility, a book that the Boston Globe describes as “sometimes searing . . . [and] impossible to put down.”
Lionel Shriver's fiction includes The Mandibles; Property; the National Book Award finalist So Much for That; the New York Times bestseller The Post-Birthday World; and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, adapted for a 2010 film starring Tilda Swinton. Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. She’s a regular columnist for the Spectator in Britain and Harper’s Magazine in the US. She lives in London and Brooklyn, New York.