Wednesday, February 4, 2009

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Title: We Need to Talk about Kevin
Author: Lionel Shriver
Pages: 500
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5

I absolutely loved this book. The book re-inspires the age old question: Nature vs. Nurture?
I was first drawn to this novel because of some reviews I read which I will link to at the bottom of this post, and secondly because I have this weird fascination for the psyche of people who murder.

The book was very creatively written.
Eva is writing the book in first person through letters to her husband trying to figure out the reasons for her sons' mass murder on his schoolmates. She admits to having never connecting to her son even from the womb. She never wanted to get pregnant, and from the moment she found out, she felt as though her life was over, hence the nature v. nurture.

Can I go off on a tangent here? I have in no way done any scientific research, but have a person in my life who was adopted; let's call him Timmy. When Timmy was a little boy, before he ever knew he was adopted, he would ask his adoptive mother why he felt like no body wanted him around. A child of five. How could a child of five ever even think that he was not wanted unless it stems from the womb? Just something to think about....

Now back on task. The first couple hundred pages were very long and slow moving for me to get through. She uses a lot of big words, and although I could understand them, it took some time for me to flow through the pages. They were all mostly recaps of Kevin's life as a child. How Eva would react and interact with him, and why she feels he turned out to be such a vengeful person at only 16. The last 150 pages or so for me, just flew by. I couldn't put the book down. I really felt for the characters involved and even developed an understanding for Kevin.

Again, I really loved this novel, and would recommend to anyone. I will keep on the shelves to read again. I do have an extra copy if anyone is interested. Just let me know!

Cares Online Bookclub
The Bluestocking Society
The Hidden Side of a Leaf

If there are any others let me know. I would love to link.


Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

Awesome review and sounds like a fascinating book. I've always been intrigued by knowing what makes people tick and why they do the things they do and true crime is another fascination of mine...I sound morbid, but I swear I'm normal!

I'm a firm believer that people are born gay, they don't choose it. So, it's hard to say if a person becomes a murderer through nature or nurture...or a combo of both?! I'm sure there are killers out there that had perfect childhoods, just like there are people out there that had horrible childhoods, but turned out normal?! I guess there's not one good answer.

I'll have to check this one out!

Jessica said...

Michelle, thanks for the link! I really really liked this book. It made me think deeply about its themes and subjects. No one will ever be able to prove the nature v. nurture question, but it is interesting to think about.

Rae said...

Sounds fascinating. For a while I was really interested in criminal psychology. I'm just so interested in what it takes to actually push a person over the edge to do some of these horrible things. What makes them any different from you and me?
I'll have to take a look at the book.

Michelle said...

You don't sound morbid. I wondered myself about admitting to the fact that I love learning about mass murderers. I love all of the reality shows on A&E and etc. I am sure there is some predisposition and prob nurture can push someone over the edge. Who knows. Thanks for the comment!

Michelle said...

I think one day all of the questions will be answered one way or another. It is a book that leaves one thinking, so thank you for your review.

There is a great quote from the book on that very subject about what makes these people so different from all of us. What makes them actually do the crime? It really is a great one. Like I said I have an extra copy if you are interested...

bkclubcare said...

Thanks for the link - sorry it's taken me til now to see it. I think Wordpress has had trouble differentiating true links and blogroll includes so it's hard to find these. THANKS! The book was very interesting and I remember wanting to talk about it to someone after reading it.