Helen Phillips, this novel left me reeling. So real it could be yesterday in my own kitchen, but then so utterly, devastatingly surreal. Is it alternate realities, or a frazzled mother’s mind unraveling into madness, or is it a wicked human plot? Or is it creepy with the supernatural and spooky portals to other planes? Are the children going to die, or are they already dead? What it is…….is a consideration, a contemplation, if you will, of a mother’s love, so fierce and so fraught with its intensity and its burden. Tiny Ben and lively Viv (a masterpiece, the most fully realized fictional four-year-old ever), the warm funk of children sleeping, their unremitting needs, tantrums, vomit, Cheerios, yes, and the bone-deep fear of it all. But make no mistake. This is not a horror story. It is a human story. Helen Phillips, your talent is frightening.
Readers, make haste to your local bookstore (support the independents, please!) to pick this one up on July 9 from Simon & Schuster. Or to pre-order from Amazon.com, click here: The Need
Full Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided to me by Simon & Schuster via NetGalley. I would like to thank the publisher and the author for providing me this opportunity. All opinions expressed herein are my own.