A novel by Lionel Shriver, "We Need To Talk About Kevin" is a compelling story about the mother of a boy, Kevin, who murdered eight people at his high school, a couple of weeks before Columbine. The book is a series of letters by Eva Khatchadourian to her husband, Franklin, the first a year and a half after Thursday, starting with a trivial encounter at the grocery store. Right up front, we are told Kevin set out to murder people at his suburban high school. This isn't a thriller, we already know what happened, the dread and horror comes from the why, as Eva tries to understand and justify her role as the mother of what appears to be a monster.
The series of letters span from November 8, 2000 to April 8, 2001, and while recounting her life up to Thursday, the seeming normal events of daily life in the USA are happening. Eva is a successful travel writer, who owns a growing company publishing the travel guide series "... On A Wing And A Prayer". A woman of firm opinions and of saying what most people only think, she has been around the world to escape Racine, Wisconsin, where her agoraphobic mother still lives, never leaving her house.
Eventually, she meets and marries her virtual opposite, an all-American guy, Franklin, and despite her reservations and fears eventually gives up her career to have a child, and get a house in the suburbs of Nyack. Eva is blunt and honest in how much she resents this, she doesn't like being pregnant and what it does to her body, she resents her baby, Kevin, and she dislikes the house. And Kevin grows to be (at least in Eva's recollections) an empty sociopath. It starts to become apparent though, that Eva is an unreliable narrator with a mounting number of factual errors and contradictions in her recollections, and using hindsight is trying to arrive at a reason for Kevin's horrific act, since her biweekly visits with him in prison don't seem to be getting anywhere. (One example is several references to a scene in the movie "Mimic" which never occurred - it was Cronenberg's "The Fly").