We Need to Talk About Kevin

A friend recommended this book to me.  We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.  Not a subject matter that many might be interested in reading but an incredibly well written book. 

The book is a series of letters written to Eva’s husband.  Their son, Kevin, has committed a premeditated murder killing seven of his peers at High School.  Through her letters Eva tries to come to terms with why.  She examines her own life, her relationship with her husband and her son.  Was she cold?  Did she not see this coming?  Could she have stopped it?  As you read each letter, the story unfolds.  As a reader, you start to pass judgment on the characters.

Eva is obviously an intellect which one’s grasps through her writings.  Articulate, bright, driven and deeply in love with her husband.  She writes the letters in the presence yet also writes about the past.  By doing this, we watch the unraveling of her marriage, her life and the community. 

The beginning is a bit slow yet as each letter unfolds and you learn more and more about their lives, you can’t stop reading.  The book is like a slow crescendo exploding in the end.  I am still thinking about the book.

Today, it happens that there was a shooting in an Omaha shopping mall.  After reading We Need to talk about Kevin which makes you so sad, it also makes you wonder why people who need help can so easily have access to weapons?  No other civilized country in the world has random shootings of violence like we do.  There is no reason to see innocent people die because at one point, the killer gets help and it make take time but at one point they often realize that their actions not only hurt other people and a community, it hurt their families and themselves.