Wow. I’m not even sure how I should react to this book. I don’t know how exactly one would label this and into which genre it might fit, considering it delves into horror AND drama. Make no mistake; the subject matter lends itself to drama but this is an excellent telling of a horrific child.
I will have to be honest; it’s a tough one to get into until it really picks up. When I say it “picks up”, I don’t necessarily mean it becomes an action packed pedal-to-the-medal tale. It truly is a slow burn. Once you become invested in these characters and begin to piece together the events in the narrator’s life, it’s an absolutely engrossing read. Although it’s taken since December to get through, it wasn’t for lack of desire. The biggest perk of e-books, at least for me, is the ability to read them anytime and anywhere. Although I started this one on my Nook (and initially held a strong dislike for the narrator, almost to the point of putting it down), I copied it to my phone’s e-reader as well so I could read it wherever I may be. (On a side note, Mantano Reader is AWESOME if you’ve got an Android phone or tablet.)
Told by way of correspondence between a wife and her husband, this is a story about their son Kevin and his upbringing. We begin the book already aware of a horrible tragedy but the letters from Eva to Franklin take us through Kevin’s life.
As a parent of a boy myself, this book is pretty easy to relate to. Although not really a horror novel, inasmuch as there’s really no supernatural angle or monsters, it could very easily fit into that genre. As Eva’s letters can attest to, there is something very wrong about Kevin.
It’s difficult to talk much about this book without delving into “spoilers” and passing along too much of the story so I’ll just have to say that no novel in recent memory has left such an indelible impression on this particular reader.
There was a movie based on this novel made a year or two ago as well. Needless to say, I’ll be renting it and even though I know how it ends, I doubt the emotional wallop will be any less mitigated. A four hundred page book, beginning as a slow burn, this definitely makes good use of the last ten to fifteen pages.