We Need to Talk About Kevin
Now a major motion picture by Lynne Ramsay, starring Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly, Lionel Shriver's resonant story of a mother's unsettling quest to understand her teenage son's deadly violence, her own ambivalence toward motherhood, and the explosive link between them reverberates with the haunting power of high hopes shattered by dark realities.
Like Shriver's charged and incisive later novels, including So Much for That and The Post-Birthday World, We Need to Talk About Kevin is a piercing, unforgettable, and penetrating exploration of violence, family ties, and responsibility, a book that the Boston Globe describes as "sometimes searing . . . and] impossible to put down."
Winner of Orange Prize 2005.
Runner-up for Reading Group Book of the Year 2007.
Shortlisted for British Book Awards: Crime Thriller of the Year 2006.
'Addresses head-on the question that causes anguish to the greatest readers of fiction these days, middle-class women: when to, or even why, have a child?' --Australian
'By far the best novel I've read in years...exquisitely crafted...a breathtaking work of art.'-- Age
'An elegant psychological and philosophical investigation of culpability with a brilliant denoument...although (Eva's) reliability as a narrator becomes increasingly questionable as she oscillates between anger, self-pity and regret, her search for answers becomes just as compulsive for the reader.' --Observer
'Harrowing, tense and thought-provoking, this is a vocal challenge to every accepted parenting manual you've ever read.' --Daily Mail
'One of the most striking works of fiction to be published this year. It is Desperate Housewives as written by Euripides... A powerful, gripping and original meditation on evil.' --New Statesman
'[Shriver's] detailed depiction of a marriage and a family torn apart by silence is disarmingly direct...Shriver's novel is a timely one...maybe we all need to talk about Kevin...Nature or nurture? Shriver leaves it to the reader to decide in this powerful cautionary tale.' --Belfast Telegraph
'Few novels leave you gasping at the final paragraph as if the breath had been knocked from your body. Yet such is the impact of We Need to Talk About Kevin... Shriver's novel subjects a sensitive topic to fierce and tough-minded scrutiny.'-- Bookseller
'A great read with horrifying twists and turns.' --Marie Claire
'A deeply shocking but mesmerising novel.' --Herald
'This book asks the question many women are afraid to ask: does maternal instinct really exist...A good read for all women who have struggled with the loss of self that often comes with motherhood.' --Big Issue
'Forces the reader to confront assumptions about love and parenting, about how and why we apportion blame, about crime and punishment, forgiveness and redemption.' --Independent
'One of the bravest books I've ever read...original, powerful, resonant, witty, fascinating and deeply intelligent.' --Sunday Business Post