So I’m currently reading ‘We need to talk about Kevin‘ a novel describing a mother who must come to terms with her son’s devastating murder of seven school classmates in what can only be described as a reflection of the Columbine school massacre which occurred in 1999.
The novel is descriptive and comes in the form of letters from Kevin’s mother Eva to her estranged husband Franklin, whom we presume has left her. She describes the pains of becoming a mother, the lack of understanding for her son, her detachment from him and gives us insight into his cold character by detailing various acts he has performed throughout his childhood years. She makes us wonder whether some children are actually born bad or whether it was her failings as a mother which led to the ultimate act of murder.
It took me a while to get into this novel, but once you do it envelopes you. You are constantly wondering what went wrong, who is at fault, who do I feel pity for mum or son or father? The descriptive letters provide ample discussion around these points and really do challenge and convey the turmoil that parents must feel if their son/daughter has gone against the grain. It’s very much a psychological book and one that is not an easy read but it’s very gripping.
It’s also being made into a film starring Tilda Swinton as Eva and John C. Reilly as Franklin. I am really looking forward to seeing it, whether it captures the strength of the novel and how this 15-year-old murderer Kevin is portrayed. Definitely not an easy subject to make into film considering the amount of school shootings that occurred across America in the 1990’s.
Here are some trailers…