The Need


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.

Genre: Fiction / Thriller / Sci-fi

Author: Helen Phillips

Hardcover, 272 pages

Publishing Date: July 9th 2019

Publishing House: Simon Schuster

ISBN: 1982113162 (ISBN13: 9781982113162)

My Review

This is a strange one! I have to check with my friends on who has read this!

I would love to analyze this novel in a more literary sense then my review could possibly describe it. It is deserving to be loved for the deeper meaning and defragmentation of it all. Perhaps it is a work of literary brilliance if you value its depth and hidden reasoning. It wasn't what I was expecting at a time my brain is tuned in on summer, lightheartedness and beach reads. My mood was not fitting this baffling and strange novel.

Molly is an archeologist and working mother to a still nursing baby boy and a highly demanding little girl (and I mean highly, highly demanding and an irritating little girl). Her husband is gone on a business trip, one of many. She is wrestling the demands, sleep deprivation and chores in a haze but caring. Since the birth of her kids, she is having anxieties about hearing movements in the house. In her own little panic, she is prepared to hide with the kids in closets, bathtubs, under the bed and so on, just until she can be sure they are safe.

Working at the archeological site, she digs and gives tours. Some of the latest findings include a controversial bible with the creator's pronoun shown as female. As the site is getting more and more attention due to this phenomenon, Molly is also anxious about attacks by visitors and envisions the most horrific threats.

At some point, a woman enters the novel and she looks just like Molly. The same EVERYTHING! In dirty clothes, and lactating as well, she wants to take over Molly's life and share the children. She threatens her, tells her she has been through more than she could imagine and begins to invade Molly's home life. All while her husband is away.

What ensues are visions of Molly as if outside her own body, comparing her methods with the kids, going through fits of rage and even witnessing a hot hook up of her husband with the "other" her.

In many elements of the story, I was contemplating if this is an alternate reality/dimension overlapping with Molly's life. It certainly was hinted at that with different findings in the archeological pit, but then again at the same time, I thought this woman has just gone crazy.

To find out and form your own opinion of this novel, you will have to read it. There is lot's of room for interpretation I believe and that is why it is so deserving to be analyzed.

What I did no like in the plot as a whole was this annoying little daughter, and believe me, I love kids. Again, perhaps just another way of showing how frazzled one would be in this situation. I have a lot of patience, but this little one was interjected way too much in this novel and I did not enjoy reading it that way.

So, I haven't found many books I don't like at all, and this isn't one of those either, but I wasn't the right person for this one. It is more or less a situation of a cat entering the life of a dog mama, simply not a natural match.

I'd love to hear what others think about it? And how did you like the ending?