We need to talk about Kevin
“Kayla,” she says, I sense the tension before she even speaks, “there’s been a shooting. At the school.”
My worst nightmare comes true. I feel a chill in my bones. Did Lucas get hit?
“Any news about …?” I hesitate, scared.
“Just that they have the shooter in custody,” she replies.
I jump at the shrill ring of the phone, answering it with trembling fingers.
“Mrs. Donaldsen? Emerson PD. I need you to come in. Stat.”
“Is … is Lucas ok?”
“We have him in custody.”
It takes me a minute to realize I was wrong about my worst nightmare.
We need to talk about Kevin, by Lionel Shriver is a masterpiece. Just before his sixteenth birthday, Kevin kills 7 fellow students, a cafeteria worker, and a teacher. How does a mother deal with something like that? From questioning her own ambivalence about having a child, her upbringing and the child’s inherent devilish thought process (recollect the kid from Omen) which the father refuses to acknowledge, this book is smack in the middle of the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate. The actual event still manages to shock you even though you knew it was coming. If you’re a non-reader, or someone who’s just starting to read, watch the movie instead. The book is heavy – on the language, on the emotion, on the girth. IF YOU’RE A READER, DO NOT LET THIS ONE GO. It’s literally goosebumps.