Reviews

  • "A chilling novel from a blazing talent...in addition to being a cerebral meditation on motherhood at its most elemental – fierce, beatific, sanity-thieving – it’s an adroitly executed thriller with a quasi-sci-fi twist. Mercilessly tense throughout, its opening chapter is a belter... A bracingly singular achievement, it’s surreal, blackly comic and ultimately generous."

    Observer
  • "[A] frenzied fever dream of a novel. Read it as a sci-fi thriller, or understand it instead as metaphorical; either way, it’s a page-turner… magnificent... This is a smart, sharp book that cuts to the heart of what it’s like to be a mother"

    Financial Times
  • "Phillips can conjure pure nightmare in a single sentence… Thrillingly disturbing, frighteningly insightful about motherhood and love, and spilling over with offhand invention, The Need is one of this year’s most necessary novels."

    Guardian
  • "The atmosphere is as close and taut as a thriller, but this is, in fact, both a highly original examination of grief and an extraordinarily vivid evocation of motherhood -- the moments of terror and hilarity, the visceral burden of it, and the fleeting, but almost transcendent, joy"

    Daily Mail
  • "

    Helen Phillips’s novel begins to reveal itself, veering away from what looks initially like conventional suspense into something more speculative and philosophical with nods to both sci-fi and horror...
    the what-ifs animate this novel, the narrative splitting and looping back on itself as it tries out parallel possibilities, various fantasies and nightmares... frightening and maddening and full of dark comedy.. Phillips, as careful with language as she is bold with structure, captures many small sharp truths

    "

    New York Times