Ellie M's Reviews > We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
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's review
Oct 27, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, motherhood

If I were able to give this 5 stars plus I would. It was wow, wow, wow for me.

I don't suppose I really ever had any intention of reading this book when it was first published. Sort of passed me by and I forgot about it and didn't really know or care about the subject matter. Then last year the film was released and I thought wow. Fab film. Dark, powerful subject matter, psychological, and it appealed on a number of levels.

I decided to ask for the book for Christmas after reading reviews on GR and Amazon. Many were saying how good so I thought it worth a read. I decided I'd finally read it a week or so ago when I was searching for something to take my mind of work I need to do. I was gripped instantly. The other appeal was probably the blurb which described the novel as motherhood gone awry. Reading the first few chapters where Eva decides whether or not motherhood is something she wants to embark on really hit a chord. I'm 12 weeks and I too have been through all the anguish of whether I am cut out to be a mother.

I like the format of the novel - written in letters to her husband. I like how reflective it is - on both what Kevin has done, on their relationship, on Kevin now. The book is certainly more detailed that the film - according to an article in the back, to have filmed the entire book would have resulted in a 10 hour film. Yes the subject matter is very dark but I think the way Shriver deals with issues such as Eva's identity as a non-American in America is fascinating, as is how motherhood and families changes a couple's life.

I'd definitely recommend reading the book and watching the film.
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Quotes Ellie Liked

Lionel Shriver
“...You can only subject people to anguish who have a conscience. You can only punish people who have hopes to frustrate or attachments to sever; who worry what you think of them. You can really only punish people who are already a little bit good.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver
“Children live in the same world we do. To kid ourselves that we can shelter them from it isn't just naive it's a vanity.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Reading Progress

October 27, 2011 – Shelved
February 21, 2012 – Started Reading
February 21, 2012 –
page 29
6.02% "am liking this a lot already. saw the film last year and loved that (for the acting and cinematography as opposed to subject matter) and the book is so far a good reflection (that should b other way round but I'm coming to the book after the film)."
February 22, 2012 –
page 67
13.9% "day trip north to Edinburgh gives me opportunity to catch up on some reading. severe flooding on track might mean we don't make edinborough tho...."
February 23, 2012 –
page 169
35.06% "still loving it....!"
February 27, 2012 –
page 283
February 29, 2012 –
March 1, 2012 – Finished Reading
February 5, 2015 – Shelved as: fiction
February 5, 2015 – Shelved as: motherhood

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Gemma Glowing review! I can't wait to read it.

message 2: by Em (new) - rated it 5 stars

Em Couldn't agree more with your review Ellie, I really admired this book too! I've not seen the film yet but I think it's somewhere on my list with Lovefilm.

Ellie M Em wrote: "Couldn't agree more with your review Ellie, I really admired this book too! I've not seen the film yet but I think it's somewhere on my list with Lovefilm."

The film is very good. Very dark and I hadn't read it first so the bits towards the end were more shocking. Don't think having read it first distracts from the film though. I liked the fact there wasn't much dialogue and it was more based on the psychology and watched the way people behaved.

Gemma wrote: "Glowing review! I can't wait to read it."

I hope you like it then! I think it's well written and a good story so even if you aren't in the same situ as me or Eva (in the early part of the book) you hopefully will still enjoy it.

Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh I really enjoyed this book as well, but haven't seen the film, which you (and a couple of my friends) all say is terrific. Nice review.

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