We Need to Talk About Kevin - even the title is intense, urgent, and upsetting. Don't get me wrong: this book is good. Oh yes, excellent writing, amazing character development, even unexpected humor at some of the darkest of moments. Kudos to Lionel Shriver. But man, this book is intense.
The premise: At fifteen years old, Kevin Khatchadourian orchestrates the killing of seven of his his high school peers, along with a teacher and a custodian. His mother, Eva, recounts his life leading up to the crime via letters to her husband, Franklin. Tracing her pregnancy and Kevin's birth, his odd and unsettling childhood, and then the years shortly before his killing, Eva dissects a mother's relationship with her son.
And man, is it haunting. Eva is smart, quirky, and frighteningly believable. Her horrific strories of the early years of raising her son are still tinged with a sort of motherly worry, even in the retroscpect of her child's terrible crime. I devoured the book, finishing it in a few days and sneaking in reading breaks when I should have otherwise been socializing. And the final pages are absolutely incredible.
Read it: We Need to Talk About Kevin - by Lionel Shriver