Sunday, January 13, 2013

We Need to Talk About Kevin

I'm reading We Need to Talk About Kevin (by Lionel Shriver) and the first comment I have is SO MANY FUN WORDS! Already I've learned/refreshed my memory on the meanings and uses of:


and that was just in the first hundred pages.

My second, and actual, comment is: This book is crunchy with detail, and heart-crunchy at that. It's not an easy read, emotionally. I sometimes have to stop to take a breather. Kevin is a teenager who kills seven of his classmates, a cafeteria worker, and a teacher at his school. The narrator, Eva, a middle-aged mother of Kevin, is not at all like me, I think...until I start reading and realize a lot of her flashback thoughts (before Kevin is born, when he is a baby, etc) are ones I've thought, even for small moments. Then I see similarities in our philosophies, relationships, and life fears.

I started this book to take a break from The Shining (I could never read after about 9 PM, and definitely not on nights when I was home alone), but it's turning out to be a deep, thought-provoking, haunting story--not a book you read when you are on "break" from a thriller. Doesn't matter, I'm hooked on the language, the characters, even the format of the story, told in letters from Eva to her absent husband, Franklin.

I've already got the movie version on hold at the library (though I'm still waiting on a movie I requested in September to get sent to my library, so who knows when I'll get this one). Put this book on your list, especially now, when our country is deep in gun control and mental health debates. It's a different angle to the issue of school shootings and violent youth--a closer look at the mother, the father, the childhood, and the life forever altered because of the son's actions.

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