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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Need by Helen Phillips

The Need

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Simon Schuster

Goodreads synopsis:
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. 


2.5 Stars

I admit I read the synopsis and thought this would be more my speed. Unfortunately, I just didn’t get it. First there was one Molly who was concerned with the welfare of her kids since she thought there was an intruder outside. Then there was another Molly who went by Mol in the text and she was very similar to the background of the first Molly but she didn’t have any kids. Then it went back and forth with scenes between them both. It was so confusing trying to keep it all straight. But none of it really seemed to gel for me.

At first I thought this was more of a supernatural story but soon came to realize it was more of a mental problem the main character was having. Effects of postpartum depression, I assume. Someone labeled it horror on Goodreads and so I also thought this would be a mystery thriller and didn’t find that to be the case either.

Like I said this story confused and dumbfounded me. I couldn’t relate to it at all. Maybe it is because I am not a mother and have not experienced anything like this. I wish the whole thing had been more cohesive and made more sense. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people DNFed this book for this fact alone.

I wish the author luck and  hope this tale finds its audience. I guess I was not the right reviewer for this since I totally didn’t get it.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

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