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.
Author: Helen Phillips | Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Thanks, NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the review copy of this book! It will be published on July 9th.
OK y’all. I’m going to need you to get a copy of this book, buckle your seatbelt, read it as fast as you can, and then immediately message me so that we can talk about it. Because holy moly, this was WILD.
Molly is, in a word, a working mom: She loves her two kids fiercely and to the depth of her soul, but she’s also exhausted by the day-to-day slog of raising young kids. She genuinely loves her husband, loves her job, loves her life. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t tired. Then one night she’s home alone with her kids and hears an intruder in the other room. After a highly relatable I-don’t-like-what-my-gut-is-telling-me-so-I’m-going-to-convince-myself-that-I’m-overthinking-this internal monologue, it turns out that there is an intruder.
Throughout this tense, terrifying scene, we get chapter flashbacks to the earlier part of her workday. She’s an archaeologist (of the plant fossil variety), but she recently found some really Twilight-Zone-esque artifacts that have caused their little dig site to turn into a sensation. They get admirers and death threats alike.
That’s really only the first few chapters of the book, but I can’t really tell you more than that without spoilers. All I can say is that when you find out who the intruder is, you are going to be like whaaaaaaaaat. And then the rest of the book will blow your mind. I’m still reeling. And how about that ending?!?!?
Molly’s character (in all its facets) is so excellently done. And her thoughts, struggles, and fierce love are the stuff that the human experience is made of. To bring that to light so effectively while also blowing the reader’s mind and keeping us on the edge of our seats is the stuff of masterful writing.
I’m not usually big on thrillers. But this book was so much more than a thriller. It was a puzzle, a statement, a question, and a WILD trip.