We Need to Talk about Kevin

School shootings have been much on my mind lately. Having just moved into the Columbine High School school district, I couldn’t help but note that one day, my boys will attend the school where one of the more notorious school shootings occurred. It doesn’t necessarily worry me … I figure their chances of getting shot at high school will be pretty much equal no matter what school they go to, but it is did bring back memories of the Columbine shootings.
Then, I suppose not entirely by accident, I picked up Lionel Shriver‘s We Need to Talk About Kevin. The novel is written as a series of letters written by the mother of a school shooter to her husband. It is heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching, and utterly engrossing. It is story of Kevin’s life and his mother’s agonizing over what role she has played in making him who he is. This is not light reading — but it is very very good and well worth the read. It brings to light something we might forget when we hear about ‘shooters’ — such as the topical young man who just took so many lives at Northern Illinois University — these people haven’t appeared from a vacuum … they have parents … and those parents aren’t so very different from you or me.

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