For me it remains a mystery why people read thrillers, of the same king, and to watch horror movies, if you can just look around. And not to glide the familiar look, reducing the brain to sorting out the accumulated stereotypes and really look at the people nearby. The ideal object of observation is a family. Lionel Shriver in her book «We Need to Talk About Kevin» was chosen by the family as a testing ground for their writing actions, and no mistake. This is a great field for sharp observations and sardonic-depressive conclusions about human nature. What could be more frightening than perfect, regular and exemplary with a mean family?
The main character, she’s a mother, on behalf of which being the narrative of the immigrant second generation. Like all Americans, despise other Americans. Loves to notice the subtle details that ordinary people are trying to put into the blind area. Not only in others but in themselves. She has traveled the world and came up with a new format for travel guides, has great vision and always dreamed of a faithful, loving husband. Several failed novels, and she meets the work of Franklin. At first all goes well, they meet with friends, live in new York, get married, and both love your work and they are satisfied. Until eve decides that it is time to have a baby. Or it doesn’t. She’s not sure if she wants to do it.
Child is Kevin. Immediately after his birth eve will be disappointed — here it is, her firstborn, lies at her breast, but where is the thrill, where the waves of love, where the joy and ecstasy that she described all of her large friends? Dummy. Nothing has changed. The world is not overturned. The doctor carefully throw the diagnosis of “postpartum depression” as a lifeline. Franklin, from the beginning, manifests itself as a genuinely caring and tender father. Kevin brings eve to a white heat first, continuous crying, then small dirty tricks — it would seem that capable is a cute baby? It turns out, a lot.
Gradually the lump of disappointment in the son, and eve can no longer hold back his disgust. Franklin does not understand her son is the cause of konflity, essentially separating parents.
In the course of reading I had any questions. Why Franklin stubbornly believes son is normal, when the facts say that he is cynical and calculating sociopath? Why is he so fiercely argues with Eva, when she tries to “talk about Kevin” (see book title)? This may seem unrealistic at first glance. But upon closer examination it becomes clear that Franklin knew, but didn’t want to see the truth. He created the illusion of the American dream, diligently covering up the litter where it cannot be seen. As there are families who beat and torture children for years? Because family members do not want to see and not see inconvenient facts. Human vision is selective.
The whole book eve will struggle with the question whether her coldness and distancing the cause of the tragedy. The one that the main Tragedy. This is not a spoiler, the author on the first page, do not hesitate, throws the reader almost every detail. Kevin, three days before his 16th birthday, comes to school and kills seven classmates, teachers, and employee dining room. The book is written in the format of Eva’s letters to her husband, she tells about her life and visits to her son in prison and what happened from her point of view. One of the usual formats — correspondence, worked well at Shriver.
If you look at the characters, then their names are worthy of attention. The author obviously didn’t pick them in a random name generator. Eva refers to the biblical namesake. Franklin — two American presidents (Franklin pierce, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and probably Benjamin Franklin). Because he is a patriot and American to the bone, tired to taunt eve. Celia is the second child means “Paradise” (“heaven”) or “blind”. Kevin and I can not see the sardonic smile of the author, means “beautiful”, “gentle”. The characters are not that realistic, they’re alive! I admire the skill Shriver, which has created this real world. And like any brilliant book, every reader will see his own. Someone will blame eve, someone Franklin, someone’s genes, someone will say “no way!”, someone thinks self-examination is a waste of time.
I just want to say that the author is truly a genius. If the Russian soul was explaining Tolstoy, the American soul reveals Shriver. For the book, the author was awarded the Orange Prize in 2011, the year was shot the same film.