Winner, Orange Prize, United Kingdom, 2005
Now a major motion picture starring Tilda Swinton. Published in twenty-eight countries. Over a million copies sold worldwide.
Two years ago Eva Khatchadourian’s son, Kevin, murdered seven of his fellow high-school students, a cafeteria worker and a popular teacher. Now, in a series of letters to her absent husband, Eva recounts the story of how Kevin came to be Kevin.
Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become, she confesses to a deep, long-standing ambivalence about both motherhood in general and Kevin in particular. How much is her fault? When did it all start to go wrong?
Or was it, in fact, ever ‘right’ at all?
Lionel Shriver tells a compelling, absorbing, and resonant story while framing the horrifying tableau of teenage carnage as a metaphor for the larger tragedy—the tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves and anything can be bought but a sense of purpose.
‘Addresses head-on the question that causes anguish to the greatest readers of fiction these days, middle-class women: when to, or even why, have a child?’Australian
‘By far the best novel I’ve read in years…exquisitely crafted…a breathtaking work of art.’Age