We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver This was a hard book to read. I imagine it's not as painful for those who don't have any children. From the very beginning, I couldn't help comparing myself with the author. She described so many things that I related to. The way your body and everything you do with it becomes subject to everyone's unsolicited advice and outright policing when you're pregnant. My oldest child was challenging, like Kevin, in many ways, though less extreme. Like the narrator, my labor was long, in fact longer than her own was. I completely relate to the feelings of rejection that come with a child refusing to nurse. I understand the guilt associated with being unable to nurse. But what I could not relate to was her lack of feeling toward her infant son. And I can't help but feel that a baby would sense that, and that it would have shaped him from the very beginning. My inability to relate to this made it hard for me to sympathize with the narrator.

While unable to bring myself to like the narrator, I quickly found Kevin unbearably annoying, and Franklin's complete indulgence and unwillingness to discipline him outright infuriating. I hated Franklin's guts, in fact, while I only mildly disliked the narrator.

I have to say, from page one, I predicted the ending. There was a telling lack of acknowledgment of reply from Franklin in the letters. There was also no wondering why he wouldn't reply. The way she reiterated conversations to which Franklin was a party, these were all tips to me that she was writing letters to someone who was deceased. I wanted to be wrong. I desperately wanted to be wrong. In many ways I felt the author was cheating the way she left that as a surprise throughout. I was incredibly disappointed to be right.