- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
- Available in: Hardcover, eBook, Audio Book, Paperback
- Published: May 12, 2020
A 2020 National Book Awards finalist
from the book jacket…
A novel of teenage alienation and adult complacency in an unraveling world.
Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet’s new novel — her first since the National Book Award long-listed Sweet Lamb of Heaven — follows a group of twelve eerily mature children on a forced vacation with their families at a sprawling lakeside mansion.
Contemptuous of their parents, who pass their days in a stupor of liquor, drugs, and sex, the children feel neglected and suffocated at the same time. When a destructive storm descends on the summer estate, the group’s ringleaders — including Eve, who narrates the story — decide to run away, leading the younger ones on a dangerous foray into the apocalyptic chaos outside.
As the scenes of devastation begin to mimic events in the dog-eared picture Bible carried around by her beloved little brother, Eve devotes herself to keeping him safe from harm.
A Children’s Bible is a prophetic, heartbreaking story of generational divide — and a haunting vision of what awaits us on the far side of Revelation.
“… she shows it is even possible to coax pleasure and beauty from the uncomfortable work of highlighting unfortunate truths.”
– The Wall Street Journal (paywall)
“… a blistering little classic: “Lord of the Flies” for a generation of young people left to fend for themselves on their parents’ rapidly warming planet.”
“This superb novel begins as a generational comedy … and turns steadily darker, as climate collapse and societal breakdown encroach. But Millet’s light touch never falters; in this time of great upheaval, she implies, our foundational myths take on new meaning and hope.”
“[D]arkly funny and painfully sharp.”
– Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times (paywall)
“To call it a generational allegory seems like an understatement. Millet is one of the most fascinating novelists working.”
“As bewitching, unflinching, wry, and profoundly attuned to the state of the planet as ever, supremely gifted Millet tells a commanding and wrenching tale of cataclysmic change and what it will take to survive.”
– Donna Seaman, Booklist (paywall)
“[A] tense, prophetic … [and] gripping page-turner.”
– Donna Bettencourt, Library Journal (starred review)
“If you think it’s hard to find original voices in contemporary fiction, you’re not really reading properly―Millet is one such voice: comic, erudite, humane.”
“A bleak and righteously angry tale determined to challenge our rationalizations about climate change.”
“A Children’s Bible is a beautiful, brutal novel that calls all of us to account.”
“It is wildly funny, deeply scary and unnervingly familiar”
– Adam Begley, The London Sunday Times (paywall)
Book Review Links
An Epic Storm Turns a Summer Holiday Into Potent Allegory
– Jonathan Dee for The New York Times (paywall)
A Children’s Bible and 9 Other Reads I Can’t Get Out of My Head
After the flood, now what?: Lydia Millet’s ‘A Children’s Bible’ is a parable of childhood and the environment
The Reunion Apocalypse: A New Novel from Lydia Millet
Review: ‘A Children’s Bible,’ by Lydia Millet
– StarTribune (paywall)