17 June 2009

We need to talk about Kevin

On Monday I finished reading our June book club book - We need to talk about Kevin.

While it is a grim subject - mass murder in a school gym by a teenager - it is cleverly written, with the letters from the mum to the dad bringing alive the mother's feelings as she struggles to come to terms with her son's crime.

The book allows us to draw our own conclusions - was it nature or nuture? My group met last night to talk about it, and I must say most of us felt that the mum couldn't be totally responsible, that such bad deeds must come from an unbalanced mind.

As a mother myself (and successfully traversing two teenagers so far) I was moved by the comment from a black woman, mother of a fellow inmate, tells the mum not to beat herself up - "everyone blames the mother anyway, but they can't all have been bad mums." ... this resonates for me ...

I did not expect the twist at the end, and found myself quite moved, for both Kevin's sake and his mum's.

It's a controversial subject, in more ways than one, and I really liked the writing, and I loved Eva's lucidity.



  1. I read that last year Deb, I couldn't get it out of my mind for ages. Very thought provoking, but pretty heavy going.

  2. Hi Deb - I just discovered your blog - fabulous! I am so sorry I missed the Sydney show - maybe next year. As a mad reader, I'm glad you're adding book reviews!