A brilliant, indelible novel of teenage alienation and adult complacency in a world whose climate and culture are unravelling.
Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet’s sublime new novel—her first since the National Book Award–longlisted Sweet Lamb of Heaven— follows a group of eerily mature children on a forced vacation with their parents at a lakeside mansion. Contemptuous of their elders, who pass their days in a hedonistic stupor, the children are driven out into a chaotic landscape after a great storm descends. The story’s narrator, Eve, devotes herself to the safety of her beloved little brother as events around them begin to mimic scenes from his cherished picture Bible.
Millet, praised as “unnervingly talented” (San Francisco Chronicle), has produced a heartbreaking story of the legacy of climate change denial. Her parable of the coming generational divide offers a lucid vision of what awaits us on the other side of Revelation.
"An American author steps out of the shadows with a dystopian novel of great power." — Adam Begley, The Sunday Times
"The pandemic amplifies the resonance of this brilliant end-of-days escapade… if the conclusion doesn’t leave you with goosebumps, then you should probably check your pulse." — Stephanie Cross, The Daily Mail
"New England children caught up in an apocalyptic storm have to fend for themselves in this powerful novel by a talented American writer who has often flown under the literary radar." — 100 Best Holiday Reads, The Sunday Times
"... in A Children’s Bible, Lydia Millet maps the consequences of an environmental apocalypse with unnerving, fable-like simplicity." — The Best Novels of 2020, The Telegraph
"A haunting dystopia about climate change denial... Funny and sobering, Millet's 13th novel sees a group of adults settle into a mansion for a heady summer, idling away their time with drugs and sex." — Best Paperbacks: March 2021, The Guardian
"A Children’s Bible... begins in a crumbling mansion where a group of bored, surly, privileged teens are spending the summer sequestered with their ne’er do well parents. Just as it begins to seem like a summer teen romp, the story takes a dramatic turn in the shape of a cataclysmic storm. What follows is brilliant—and feels both inevitable and strangely magical. How those teens tell the story, which transforms this climate emergency into a brutally honest, funny and moving indictment of the generations leaving a broken world for them to inherit, is especially refreshing." — Diane Cook, The Best Books of 2020, The Evening Standard
"This superb novel begins as a generational comedy — a pack of kids and their middle-aged parents coexist in a summer share — 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." — 100 Notable Books of 2020, The New York Times Book Review
"Here's an idea: As the world falls apart all around us, why not read a book about the world falling apart in a totally different way? Not just any book, though, it kind of has to be A Children's Bible, the brilliant Lydia Millet's latest, in which the oblivious destructiveness of a certain self-indulgent generation of adults is rightfully skewered, as a new generation of hyper-mature teens must figure out how to live without any concrete kind of guidance." — Best Books of 2020, So Far, Refinery29
"A perfect novel for now." — Metro