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* LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN FICTION * A NEW YORK TIMES 100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2019 SELECTION * ONE OF TIME’S 10 BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR * ONE OF WASHINGTON POST’S 50 BEST BOOKS OF 2019 * ONE OF O MAGAZINE’S BEST BOOKS OF 2019 *
“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, author of Station Eleven
“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, author of The Great Believers
“Spellbinding...both unsettling and irresistible. Phillips manifests the surreal, terrifying, and visceral experience of motherhood.” —DANA SPIOTTA, author of Innocents and Others
“Like parenthood itself, The Need is frightening and maddening and full of dark comedy… Everyday life, here, is both tedious and fascinating, grotesque and lovely, familiar and tremendously strange.” —THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW (EDITORS’ CHOICE)
“[A]n extraordinary writer at her electrifying best.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED REVIEW)
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. Helen Phillips has been anointed as one of the most exciting fiction writers working today, and The Need is a glorious celebration of the bizarre and beautiful nature of our everyday lives.