The Need

Helen Phillips

The Need
Penguin Books Australia
16 July 2019

The Need

Helen Phillips

Molly is home on her own with two small children: one-year-old B, and four-year-old Viv. Her husband is away for two weeks and she is running between her job as a paleobotanist and looking after her children. She is exhausted, anxious, losing her grip on reality and, as dusk falls, she gets jumpy - are those footsteps out in the hall? What was that noise? She holds the children close, tries to pull herself together, of course they’re all safe. But moments later, in the sitting room, she sees it - a figure wearing a deer mask who climbs out of the chest in the centre of the room, looks at her and then walks out. And Molly has to follow…

Gripping, unsettling, completely original, this is outstanding speculative fiction, teasing out the possibilities of alternative universes, as well as an unnervingly acute exploration of motherhood, and the splitting of sense of self that can accompany it.

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