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)
It was hard to connect with the mother in this story.
There are lots of Kevin's in our society and all of them have mothers. It's a dark, at times too dark for me, story.
I've never felt compelled to write a review before this book. This book lead me to grapple with a lot of difficult questions because of its thought provoking nature. The story deals with the complexity of family relationships and the ways in which one individual's behavior can impact so many lives. I found the book extremely interesting, never dull, and very intense. The author develops the characters well considering that the entire story is told from one person (the narrator's) perspective. The subject matter is timely and pertinent. I felt this was an excellent book for a book club reading because of the many difficult questions it leaves the reader with. Although the story is painful and tragic, you may also consider it redemptive, depending on your perspective. I highly recommend this book.
what an interesting perspective this story is written from - so different than the other books I've read lately. Great character development and you really have feelings towards the characters..good and bad.
definite must read. I cant wait to get in my car each day to hear a little more!
Great book if you like to work (I am a bookkeeper) at your desk on monotonous tasks while listening to an audiobook. It's not the type of story that will make you forget you are working. It is an easy listen and a very interesting story. It's like listening to someone spill their guts about every detail of their life for hours while you just work away. But I promise you won't be bored!!! The narrator was perfect (for this particular type of book). Personally, I am glad I took a chance on it.
If only Shriver had read Doris Lessing's The Fifth Child and realized that any other version of this same story had to be kept to a short story (in The New Yorker?).
It might be a good movie (which is, essentially, the length of a New Yorker short story), but this was just ENDLESS. By the end, I was just disappointed Kevin didn't also kill his mom and spare us her narrative.
This story just continues to build on itself and on the characters. In the beginning I started off not feeling sure because it was more about how the couple met and their early life but this background is vitally important to the story overall. By the end of the book I literally could not stop listening, and when it was over...I wish there was more to listen to
Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit
I had a hard time getting to the end of this one. The entire story is told solely from the perspective of a wife & mother as she writes letters to her (ex) husband about her psychotic son. I really think the story would've benefited from some alternate perspectives or at least some other method of delivery instead of one driving monotonous voice. I found myself staying interested in the overall plot but wishing for another narrator even though I believe the narrator was quite limited by the content as it was written.
The writer uses intricate and complicated language to reveal, only a tiny bit at a time, a disturbing story of complex family dynamics. Very interesting and difficult to put down, but at times it is equally uncomfortable to continue. I would much rather read it in a book, than see it in a movie, and the book was shocking--but not disappointing.
One of the only faults I can find with this otherwise incredible book is that the vocabulary detracts from the story. Its hard to imagine anyone writing in that way without a thesaurus next to them. It's certainly possible that the odd use of vocabulary was meant to display the character of the narrator, but I found it distracting.
That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The reading could have been more dynamic, but I got used to it. If you plan on listening to this, be prepared for a bit of a slog in the beginning. After the initial bore that is the first few chapters, you'll find the rest of the book is a fascinating examination of psychology that poses age-old philosophical questions in a way you've never seen them before.
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