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Mary J


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I have just finished a very disturbing but extraordinary book called "We Have to Talk about Kevin" by Lionel Shriver. WARNING: the book has very violent events so I cannot recommend it if you are as a susceptible a reader as I am. (I sometimes read something that leaves me with such a vivid mental image that I am literally sorry that I have read it.) But once I started this book, I had to read it all. The style is lucid and honest, and even occasionally funny, and every character creates a strong impression. Even the house the narrator lives in is so wonderfully described that I have a floor plan in my head of what it looked like.

I don't usually read anything that is suggested by TV book groups (this is a "Good Morning America" book) because I am usually disappointed but I received the hardback book as a recommended read from a family member who is a reliable source.

The fictional narrator is the mother of a son who commits mass murder in his high school. But this is not sensationalism for its own sake - this is a real, flawed person trying to come to grips with painful losses and trying to understand what her role was in them. It is not psycho-babble either, which is a relief. I feel like I really know the narrator as a person because she admits to less than attractive feelings some times, and there isn't a mother out there who has not at one time or other been totally exasperated with her child.

If anyone else has read this, what did you think?

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Mary J, thank you for sharing your impressions. I've had that book in my hands so many times the last two months and then back off it because I don't know if it's worth those disturbing images.

But I want to read it and just needed to hear from a "real person" that it's worthwhile.

Thank you! :o

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