A Children’s Bible, by Lydia Millet

Staff Pick

A prolific novelist, Millet has worked at the NRDC and the Center for Biological Diversity, so the dystopian element of her fiction—massive storms, dengue fever, food shortages, and another round of storms--has more than the average ring of truth. But the climatic drama is only one part of this rich, multi-layered story. Narrated by Evie, a sharp, frustrated, and endearing seventeen-year-old, the book is the younger generation’s indictment of the older one; to Evie, as to countless teens before her—though seldom with stakes as high as they are in the Anthropocene--the parents are “a cautionary tale.” Writing them off, Evie devotes herself to her younger brother, and the bond between her and Jack perhaps serves as a model for nurturing relationships of the future, as does Jack’s determination to save animals. A nine-year-old Noah, he’s also something of a prophet, and in his reading of an illustrated bible, god means nature, Christ means science, and, as Evie speculates, the holy spirit is the human capacity for creation. Given the magnitude of the problems Millet lays out, she doesn’t quite say that art will save us, but she ends this thought-provoking, buoyant novel on the hopeful note that life, if not humans, will go on.

A Children's Bible: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324005032
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 12th, 2020

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