We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

PUBLISHED: 11:48 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:20 06 May 2010

KEVIN is every mother s nightmare. He s a problem to Eva before he s born as she is content to stay childless, happy with her husband Franklin and her successful business. But Franklin wants a child and Eva gives in. From the very start she dislikes her s

KEVIN is every mother's nightmare. He's a problem to Eva before he's born as she is content to stay childless, happy with her husband Franklin and her successful business.

But Franklin wants a child and Eva gives in. From the very start she dislikes her son and he seems to hate, not only her, but everyone else as well. Franklin sees only a normal boy with one awkward problem - incontinence. Eva sees a spiteful child manipulating the world to make it slightly more interesting and hurt others.

Part of the game is to drive a wedge between Eva and Franklin and, as he grows into adolescence, his 'pranks' become more serious until they explode into carnage.

The structure of the book jars at first, with Eva writing letters to her estranged husband recalling the long road to Kevin's apocalypse. But stick with it, you will be mesmerised, intrigued, questioning and challenged. The winner of the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction, is a stunner.

Thanks to Ottakar's of Stevenage 5/5

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