Longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction
A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice
An Amazon Best Book of the Month
* ELLE * THRILLIST *
“A profound meditation on the nature of reality…An extraordinary and dazzlingly original work from one of our most gifted and interesting writers.”—EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL
"Phillips is, as always, doing something at once wildly her own and utterly primal. Maybe it doesn't surprise me that the strangest book I've read about motherhood is also the best, but it does thrill me."—REBECCA MAKKAI
“Spellbinding...both unsettling and irresistible. Phillips manifests the surreal, terrifying, and visceral experience of motherhood.”—DANA SPIOTTA
“An existential page-turner that captures, with perfect sharpness, the fierce delirium of motherhood, the longing to understand the workings of our universe, and the wondrous and terrifying mystery that is time.”—LAURA VAN DEN BERG
When Molly, home alone with her two young children, hears footsteps in the living room, she tries to convince herself it’s the sleep deprivation. She’s been hearing things these days. Startling at loud noises. Imagining the worst-case scenario. It’s what mothers do, she knows.
But then the footsteps come again, and she catches a glimpse of movement.
Suddenly Molly finds herself face-to-face with an intruder who knows far too much about her and her family. As she attempts to protect those she loves most, Molly must also acknowledge her own frailty. Molly slips down an existential rabbit hole where she must confront the dualities of motherhood: the ecstasy and the dread; the languor and the ferocity; the banality and the transcendence as the book hurtles toward a mind-bending conclusion.
In The Need, Helen Phillips has created a subversive, speculative thriller that comes to life through blazing, arresting prose and gorgeous, haunting imagery. Anointed as one of the most exciting fiction writers working today, The Need is a glorious celebration of the bizarre and beautiful nature of our everyday lives.
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