Tuesday, 20 March 2012

NOVEL - We Need To Talk About Kevin (Lionel Shriver)

This novel truly depicts every mother's worst nightmare. We Need To Talk About Kevin contains a series of letters from Eva Khatchadourian to her husband Franklin, reflecting on her life prior and subsequent to the high school massacre, known as Thursday, committed by her son Kevin.

Since his birth, Eva notices that Kevin's characteristics and actions are almost sociopathic as the two form a loathsome relationship while Kevin appears to be much closer to his father. Although Eva voices her concern for and of Kevin, Franklin disregards this by "rounding up" these warnings as minor incidents which reinforces the notion that 'boys will be boys', thus pushing Eva and Franklin further apart.

In terms of the storyline, we know the gist of what happens at the start, middle and end but what is a surprise to us is the emotional development. As little is known about Kevin's true motives and thoughts, some surprising discoveries are made. In this book, you see various relationships strain, breakdown and flourish as it examines ideas associated with parental responsibility and unconditional love.

One would assume that a book structured through letters is tenuous to read but We Need To Talk About Kevin is beautifully written and effectively builds up suspense. There are several intricate nuances (as my English teacher would say) within the book which requires multiple readings or a very attentive mind to notice, such as Kevin's response to an interviewer paralleling Eva's ideas prior to Thursday on American accountability. The book mainly explores the complicated relationship between Kevin and Eva of which many can unfortunately relate to.

This is as much as I can discuss about the novel before spoiling it, however I whole heartedly recommend you read it as well as watch the film adaptation with Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller and John C. Reilly. I watched the film first then read the novel and I found that while the film is amazing on its own, the novel adds further depth, of which helped to me understand and appreciate the film even more.


  1. Hehehe one day I'm gonna send Mr Michael a link to this blog of yours, he'll love your compilation of book reviews :) And i'm gonna have to watch this these hols!!

    1. ahaha no don't do that! how embarrassing :(

      but yay! tell me what you think about the movie, i can't wait to talk to someone about it.