A Children’s Bible

 
A Children's Bible book cover

From the book jacket . . .

An indelible novel of teenage alienation and adult complacency in an unraveling world.

Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet’s sublime 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.
 

Praise

“… she shows it is even possible to coax pleasure and beauty from the uncomfortable work of highlighting unfortunate truths.”
The Wall Street Journal (pay wall)

“… 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.”
– Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“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.”
– Editors’ Choice, New York Times Book Review

“[D]arkly funny and painfully sharp.”
– Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times

“To call it a generational allegory seems like an understatement. Millet is one of the most fascinating novelists working.”
– Wall Street Journal Magazine

“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

“[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.”
– Jonny Diamond, LitHub

“A bleak and righteously angry tale determined to challenge our rationalizations about climate change.”
– Mark Athitakis, Kirkus Reviews

A Children’s Bible is a beautiful, brutal novel that calls all of us to account.”
Michael Schaub, Alta

“It is wildly funny, deeply scary and unnervingly familiar”
–Adam Begley, The London Sunday Times (pay wall)
 

Book Review Links

An Epic Storm Turns a Summer Holiday Into Potent Allegory
– Jonathan Dee for The New York Times

A Children’s Bible and 9 Other Reads I Can’t Get Out of My Head
– Molly Young for New York Times Magazine

After the flood, now what?: Lydia Millet’s ‘A Children’s Bible’ is a parable of childhood and the environment
Boston Globe

The Reunion Apocolypse: A New Novel from Lydia Millet
– David L. Ulin for 4Columns

Review: ‘A Children’s Bible,’ by Lydia Millet
– StarTribune (pay wall)
 

Purchase