I recently had the pleasure of reading We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.
The story is about a mother who recounts the events leading up to her son’s decision to murder 9 schoolmates.
I found it to be….interesting, for lack of a better word. The voice of the story is completely unexpected; you do not hear the story from a stereotypical, tearful mother who doesn’t understand where she went wrong. Rather, the mother comes off as very strong and in control of the situation; she is fully aware of what she is dealing with and hints at knowing that there was something “not quite right” about her son. Gone are the images of mothers who claim to have no idea why their sons committed such a heinous crime; the mother in this story shows the readers all of the signs pointing to this one fatal event.
This story is both compelling and yet horrifying. And I can’t really put my finger on what it is that makes it seem so horrifying. Maybe it is the way the mother expresses her dislike for her son. Maybe it is how unloveable her son is. Maybe it is the way in which her son deceives some people but can be so blatantly obvious about the way he truly feels with his mother.
Whatever the case, this story is not for the faint of heart. It is a heavy read but an amazing one that will grip you from the beginning until the end. This is definitely worth reading over and over again.
Apparently, there is a movie adaptation of this book. Perhaps, I should watch it and critique that!