Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Saturday, August 17, 2013

We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver...

How I Heard About It:  I read the book Big Brother by Lionel Shriver earlier this summer.  It was her new book and I had read great things about it.  After reading it and talking with other readers, they would mention this book (Kevin) as one of her best.  I downloaded it to my e-reader thinking I would read it on my vacation in July.  I didn't get to it then, but just finished it last night.  Or should I say early this morning (2:00 AM). 

What It Is About:  This is a series of letters from a woman to her former husband about their son Kevin.  Kevin is in prison serving time for killing eleven people at his high school.  The letters go back to when Kevin was born and retell his life through the eyes of his mother.  There were difficulties in the relationship between Eva (the mother) and Kevin from his first day of birth.  Kevin never quite established the "normal" relationship between himself and his parents and/or other people for that matter.  Eva wonders if all of these issues led up to the killings.  She visits Kevin in prison each Saturday and tried to get at the heart of what really happened on that day she calls "Thursday."

What I Thought Of It:  To be honest, I'm not quite sure what I think of this book.  It was gut-wrenching, intense, and disturbing.  It was one of those books that is like passing a car accident.  You don't want to look, but you just have to.  I was intrigued by the story line from page one.  Shriver is an excellent writer and brings you into the story with all of your heart and soul.  It was such a sad read, but I'm glad that I spent time with this family and learned many new things. 

Who Should Read It:  If you have read anything else by Lionel Shriver, then you should read this book.  If you like fiction about families dealing with tragedy, then you should read this book.  If you like stories with quite a bit of dysfunction, then you should read this book.  As disturbing and sad as this story is, I do think it is a must read.  Happy reading! 

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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