“We Need To Talk About Kevin” by Lionel Shriver

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars ☆☆☆☆

Synopsis: Eva Khatchadourian is the mother of 15-year-old Kevin Khatchadourian, the murderer of 9 people in a school shooting incident.  Eva tries to understand and come to terms with her son’s murders and the devastating aftermath through letters to her seemingly estranged husband, Franklin.


Eva’s letters to her husband, which serve as chapters, discuss their marriage, her pre-pregnancy life, her career, and motherhood.


Both Eva and the novel itself seem to focus primarily on the main thought process one would have after such tragedy – “Why?”


Opinion:  Enthralling, heartwrenching, and disturbing all wrapped up in one novel, “We Need To Talk About Kevin” starts out slowly… covering Eva’s life before she became pregnant with Kevin and the massive changes in her life once Kevin arrived.


At first, Eva’s rhetoric can really grate on your nerves if you are sensitive to pretentiousness.  Eva is certainly a person who is well-off financially and considers herself quite superior intellectually as well.  She is practically a walking thesaurus… and that, including her snobbish tendencies really infuriated me at times.


This book is focused on the horrific scenario of the school shooting, what led up to it, and the aftermath of such tragedy.  Seen from the unique perspective of the mother of the killer, it gives a fresh perspective on the horrific nature of such incidences – and the sometimes callous ways society reacts to such acts of violence.


After reading the novel, I did watch the movie – starring Tilda Swinton – and I truly believe no one else could have played Eva.  It is also not a movie I would recommend without reading the book first… the movie takes approximately 2 pages from each 20+ page chapter and attempts to glue them together.  You truly cannot gain the insight and perspective of what is really happening without first reading the book, as most of it is cut and it would certainly be quite confusing without the background information.


I’ll leave the movie trailer here, as I usually do, as an incentive to read the book.  Don’t watch the movie without reading the book!  If you already have, once you read the book, you will see that you truly had no understanding of the movie until then!

Goodreads Link: “We Need To Talk About Kevin” by Lionel Shriver

Amazon.com Link: “We Need To Talk About Kevin” by Lionel Shriver