We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

This is one of those books that will sit with you, linger in your thoughts even for a while after you’re done with it.

I watched the movie ages ago, and wanted to read the book ever since. And it’s great that I forgot some of the details, which allowed them to make a full blown impact on me.

I really love how this novel was handled. I personally don’t like Eva, I don’t think that she is a likable character. But, she is a very relatable one, and I was with her and rooting for her and felt sorry for her throughout the novel. I find that her recounting of her son’s life as a way of her coping with the thing that happend was masterfully done. The biggest debate of psychology, the debate of nature vs. nurture was perfectly intervowen into the story. Was Kevin always like this? Was he born this way? Or is it all Eva’s fault? Was she a bad mother?

Eva is such a poster girl for feminism without her being a poster girl for feminism, if that makes sense. It’s not in your face, preachy feminism, but it is indisputably there. She struggles a lot with her feelings toward having kids, and her aptness (or lack of) for being a mother. Because she did not want that. And so she was torn with this sense of duty and her own reservations of having children. That was one of the brightest points of this novel for me. I think that was done really well.

Also the relationship between Eva and Kevin is so complex. I never expected that since I watched the movie, which was great, but there wasn’t exploration of their dynamic that was so deep. It was so intricate and had so many layers, the most complex kind of love-hate relationship you can find, the push and pull of it was so well portrayed.

The writing is also spot on, so rich and one of those show not tell kinds of writing, which I always appreciate. I think Shriver did a very good job of making you invested in the story, slowly dragging you in, leaving breadcrumbs of information which led to the culmination towards the end.

Definitely recommend reading this and after that, watch the movie, because it’s also pretty great.

Have you read the book or seen the movie? Did you like it?


8 thoughts on “We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

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