Monday, February 25, 2013

We need to talk about Kevin - Lionel Shriver

This was quite un-put-down-able. It had been on my waiting list for many years.. the premise had seemed interesting when I first read of it.

A mother reminisces about her life and her teenage son Kevin, who is now in prison for having killed a whole bunch of his classmates at school. Written as a series of letters to her husband, the chronicle traces through the time before they chose parenthood, and the years of Kevin's difference, and her own ambivalence. The many 'talks' she and her husband had about Kevin, each in their own coccoon.

Was Kevin born different? Was Eva a 'bad' mother? Why don't fathers pick any of the tab? What constitutes bad ? Was it the endless news of the mass-murderers in america which gave him this particular idea? What could have been done differently anyway? Isn't it inevitable that our perception will color what we see? We never can know about Shrodingers cat after all..

This book is perhaps a perfect example of something that you will interpret in your own way, based on your own world-view. Although the prose at times felt turgid, but the content was enough to keep you wondering. What Lionel meant to say , is perhaps immaterial. The book is poised with enough open-ends and counter - poised with enough certainties to tell you quite a lot about your own self.

Me, personally I found myself identifying a lot more with Eva, than anything else. Quite in complete disagreement with cover jacket blurbs and reviews, and even interviews with the author herself. 

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