We Need to Talk about Kevin Tie-In
By Lionel Shriver
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780062119049, 432pp.)
Publication Date: December 2011
List Price: $14.99*
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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 sixteenth 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.
- Non-maternal, ambivalent mothers are one of the last taboos—and Eva is a prime example. Were her motives for having a baby entirely selfish? And if so, how much can that have factored into the outcome of an abnormally difficult baby and apathetic child? In contrast to Kevin, Celia was loving, needy and sweet -- and her mother's favorite, if not her father's. By the very end of the novel, has Eva's love for Kevin, or at least her primitive loyalty to him, finally become unconditional? How does this fit in with the feminist ideal of motherhood?
“Ms. Shriver takes a calculated risk . . . but the gamble pays off as she strikes a tone of compelling intimacy.”
-Wall Street Journal
“An underground feminist hit.”
-New York Observer
“A slow, magnetic descent into hell that is as fascinating as it is disturbing.”
-Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Shriver handles this material, with its potential for cheap sentiment and soap opera plot, with rare skill and sense.”
-Newark Star Ledger
“Powerful [and] harrowing.”
“Impossible to put down.”