Eva never really wanted to be a mother - and certainly not the mother of a boy who ends up murdering seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his 16th birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin’s horrific rampage, in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.
©2003 Lionel Shriver (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
“Shriver handles this material, with its potential for cheap sentiment and soap opera plot, with rare skill and sense.” (Newark Star Ledger)
“A slow, magnetic descent into hell that is as fascinating as it is disturbing.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
“Powerful [and] harrowing.” (Entertainment Weekly)
I chose this book based on strong recommendations from others. However, this book took me awhile to get into, and it was not at all what I expected. I expected the book to focus more on the crime itself, rather than the mother's feelings about her marriage, life and child. It kept me interested enough to continue and the ending was very good. I'm glad I stuck with it, but I can't say that I enjoyed it as much as the majority of readers seemed to.
A quiet horror engulfs the reader as the plot matures. Even though you can see the basic story unfolding nearly from the beginning, there are twists that keep you listening to the end.
This is a chilling story about what happens went parent(s) refuse to see their child as he really is. From the beginning Kevin is troubled; Eva's sees it, but Franklin refuses and that fuels Kevin's desires to torture his mother. I really enjoyed the epistolary format of this novel. That made Eva's story even more personal and made the reader feel as though she's reading very private correspondence.
I was so disappointed because this story had great potential. Unfortunately, there is no story, just the character of the mother droning on incessantly. I listened for the first 2 hours and literally nothing happened. There is no action, no plot development, no narrative drive. It was excruciating. No to be fair, I turned it off after 2 hours so maybe it got way better at the end, I can't say.
Insufferably smug narrator. Intolerably pretentious writing style - like going to a minor hell where you're forced to hear the inner thoughts of someone who isn't very interesting. Telling, telling, and not showing. God. Somebody just shoot me now. Why did I download this thing?
Giving out fewer stars because I was inflating my start in a way that did not differentiate the mediocre and the fantastic.
I am not sure it could have been for me. I stopped early and returned it. It was both maudlin and politically pushy in the beginning offering very little story. I also did not like the narration style of the protagonist.
I am looking for a great horror story. I don't want a slasher, I want the hair on the back of my neck to stand up.
The performance was quite good. It could not shine because I was preoccupied by the story.
The performance was good, and others may, and have loved the story. If I could have made it passed the opening chapters I think it would have gotten better. The concept of the story really attracted me to the story.
I returned the book, but it may be one of the best books ever for someone else. My rejection of the book is purely subjective.
I don't know if it's how the book was written or the perspective, but I just could not get into the book.
mom of two
No, once is enough because it is a long story and rather depressing but worth one listen.
While the story starts slow, it does pick up about a third into the narration so keep listening.
Once I got into it, I had to finish it even though you know whats happens, or so I thought. It wasn't one of my favorites but like I said, I had to hear the end.
I am about 4 hours into the book and constantly hope it gets better, so far there has been maybe 10 minutes of Kevin, the rest is the mother droning on and on about her feelings, her life with her ex, all in letters to her ex who I am sure would not even read them, they are so self absorbed.
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