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)
This made me sick and scared and sad at the same time. I don't have the words for this. The book will keep you going, but difficult to handle and listen to the thoughts and words at many points. So relatable is what made it scary. My heart hurts for parents of any child who experiences this, but even more so for the child. They are at some indescribable disadvantage that turns out anger and hate from fear. Wish there were more answers, more options...
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.
I can't remember the book but it does remind my a bit like the movie Rudderless!
The general aura of a mother's gut and a father's dismissal.
The book was extremely engaging and well written. The format of being written as a series of letters kept the suspense going. The main character had a lot of complexity and was not always likable, but she evolved during the course of the book.
Wonderful speaker. The beginning is vey interesting. I wish the problem with Kevin had been revealed a little earlier. It does seem to go on and on and on. While I can appreciate all this mother has had to go through I am getting a bit bored.
The premise of the book sounds like so many headlines we've seen, but no, its so unpredictable. Well written, suspenseful and well thought out. You're just shaken at the end. The whole time I thought I knew what would happen in the end but wow, what a twist. You will not be able to stop listening.
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.
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