Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
The Need
The Need | Helen Phillips
From the award-winning author of The Beautiful Bureaucrat, comes a subversive genre-busting thriller about a woman who grapples with the complex dualities of motherhoodjoy and dread, tenderness and anxietyafter confronting a masked intruder in her home. There were footsteps in the other room... So begins The Need, a sharp and haunting exploration of the joys and perils of modern motherhood. Molly is a paleobotanist who spends her days working at a fossil quarry where she sometimes unearths artifacts that defy understanding, including a controversial Bible that has recently attracted gawkers and conspiracy theorists. By night, she cares for her two young childrenfour-year-old Viv and one-year-old Benwhile her musician husband is away on tour. Shes frazzled, sleep-deprived, and it seems the edges of her reality blur more each day. When she hears an intruder in the house, Molly is desperate to keep her children safe. She confronts the figure in the deer maskand discovers that this stranger knows everything about Molly and her family. Molly fears the most sinister motives even as she reluctantly, terrifyingly, acquiesces to the intruders demands. What happens once she learns the true identity of the trespasser is chilling and otherworldy. With tight, gorgeous prose and the urgent pacing of the best psychological thrillers, Helen Phillips unfurls a story that is at once cerebral and transcendent. The Need toggles between Mollys surreal work life and her harrowing home life, excavating deep truths about modern motherhood even as it poses provocative questions about the nature of the universe and the ethics of empathy. The hopes and heartaches of parenthood exposed in these pages, coupled with the gripping sci-fi speculation, makes for a haunting, propulsive, and unforgettable read from an author The New York Times calls breathtaking and wondrous.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
review
Faith3
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Bailedbailed

I got halfway through and thought about committing to it, but why read if I‘m not enjoying it? It had a good idea, but it just bored me and honestly the writing was kind of (which is maybe the point??). Maybe I would like it better if I had kids, but for right now it‘s a no for me.

review
NikkiCureton
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Panpan

⭐️ This seems to be quite a polarizing book, and I‘m firmly in the “no thank you” camp. I did not enjoy the story at all. It was just weird and not in a very fun or interesting way. Also, the audiobook is grating especially when the narrator voices the toddler daughter - there‘s only so much “mommy, mommy, mommy” I can hear before wanting to scream (maybe that was a little bit the point 🤷🏽‍♀️). Anyway, this one was a solid NO for me.

review
vivastory
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Mehso-so

Molly, a paleobotanist has uncovered unusual items at her dig outside of a defunct Philips 66 gas station. An Altoids Tin with a slightly unusual shape, a toy soldier with a tail, a Coca-Cola bottle with lettering slanted the opposite direction & most notable is a a bible where God is referred to throughout as She. The Need opens alternating between her unusual finds in the dig & an unsettling home invasion. I really wanted to like this book👇

vivastory Part of my issue is that it is very difficult (impossible) to discuss without spoilers. This had the potential to be a feminist exploration of motherhood along the lines of Rachel Yoder's Nightbitch, but it just didn't deliver in the same way. Looking beyond the potential spoilers, I found the message a bit muddled although it features a strong opening & a few flashes of brilliance. This was my first Phillips. I will read more down the line (edited) 6mo
vivastory because she is clearly a writer of talent, but this one didn't work for me. Because I am of a certain age, when I read the part about God being a woman I couldn't help but thinking of this gem from Kevin Smith's Dogma:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tA3dzBrXYtc
(edited) 6mo
The_Book_Ninja Actually sounds very intriguing🤔 6mo
See All 8 Comments
The_Book_Ninja Just checked reviews on Amazon. It‘s certainly divisive 6mo
vivastory @The_Book_Ninja It might work for you. Phillips is talented and I plan on reading 6mo
arubabookwoman I had never heard of this book when I read it a year or two ago. I remember loving it. For me, It perfectly captured the dichotomy of motherhood: how much you give up and how much you gain. 6mo
Megabooks I can see what you‘re saying, but I loved this. But I also read it before Nightbitch. 🤔 I loved this short story collection from her. 6mo
vivastory @Megabooks Looks interesting. Will check it out once I read Beautiful Beauracrat. Thanks 👍 6mo
73 likes2 stack adds8 comments
quote
vivastory
Need, The | Helen Phillips
post image

blurb
vivastory
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

I wasn't enjoying the Ide, so I switched to this one which I'm really liking so far.

review
candority
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Pickpick

Wow! The Need has one of the most gripping first sections that I have ever read, which turned into a really interesting and weird story. I did not expect to love this as much as I did, but I couldn‘t put it down.

Lots of people have disliked this, but I‘m giving it 5⭐️

97 likes3 stack adds
review
Lauren890
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I can see why people don‘t like this book but it‘s definitely my kind of book. It‘s speculative fiction which I didn‘t really know I liked until now. The author creates such a real tension in the early part of the book that was impressive. Lots to think about here - it‘s one I won‘t forget.

review
honeydew_reader
The Need | Helen Phillips
Mehso-so

Absolutely did not see the twist coming: that built really deliciously. But it kinda fell flat after the reveal. Still really good writing but not enough plot to motivate it.

review
Kempfme
The Need | Helen Phillips
Mehso-so

Speculative fiction is way out of my wheelhouse, but my sister thought I would like this one because of the horror listing. I really liked all the description, but hated the characters.

blurb
Luulit
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

https://amzn.to/34bbetZ
#CommissionsEarned
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Longlisted for the National Book Award in Fiction

#audible #audiblebooks #books #audiobooks
#Books
#booklovers #usa #thriller

blurb
TheRiehlDeal
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

Day 12: Us

This book is about Molly, a scientist and mother of two young children. They confront a masked intruder in their home. The intruder seems to know a lot about Molly's life. Tensions begin to rise, so when she learns the true identity of the intruder, she is faced with an impossible moral decision that'll have far-reaching repercussions for her children.

#horrorseason
@Klou

Klou Sounds good! Great pick! 2y
21 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
AUDIOBOOKINGWITHLEAH
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

I was completely flipping lost with this book and if it wasn't for the Reader Q & A section on Goodreads...I would have gone on being totally confused. After reading it, I felt like I had a little more clarity on it...especially the weird ending. This is one of those stories that is really much deeper than what the synopsis leads you to believe. In reality, it is much more psychological and dwells on themes of the overwhelmingness of motherhood.

review
8little_paws
The Need | Helen Phillips
Pickpick

So this starts off like a horror book, but it's not the horror you think. It's about the real fears that lurk in the mind of parents, about the bond of mothers to their young children, and about the grief that accompanies the love you feel for your babies. Sprinkle in some ideas about the patriarchy in religion plus judgment on mothers. I really recommend it for discussion group, tons to pull apart and talk about here!

38 likes1 stack add
review
akfreeborn
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Pickpick

I was worried when I saw the mixed reviews but I really enjoyed this hard to categorize work. It is beautifully written evoking those demanding days of caring for and feeding young children when you are short handed. Molly is exhausted; her encounter with the intruder is clever. There is much that is not clear just as reality is for a mom of very young children. Work is a whole other reality too. I got this one and what Phillips did was perfect.

8little_paws reading this one soon. I have a 9 month old so I am really excited about it!
2y
akfreeborn @8little_paws It might be scary for you. Not all the parenting is positive, some is actually funny, but it is not all reality or at least is a confused one. (edited) 2y
22 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
CaitlinByTheBook
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Mehso-so

Well, that was a weird one. I heard about this one on a bookish podcast episode and was intrigued. I read it in one day so it‘s definitely a page turner, but the ambiguity of it was not for me.

review
DavidDiamond
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Mehso-so

This work of speculative fiction was a short quick read that explores motherhood and the anxieties that come with it. It quickly turns into a Twlight Zone-type story and an ending that left me scratching my head...not a fan of those ambiguous endings. That aside, based on reviews, this is a polarizing book, but it is one that kept my interest to the end.

review
Chelsea.Poole
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Pickpick

This was incredibly different. Not exactly what I was expecting but also had some of the sci-fi elements I had anticipated (judging by the cover ??‍♀️). But wow! The descriptions of mothering young children are so incredibly spot-on.
I don't want to give anything away, but this is not for all readers. I personally enjoyed myself but more in the way of "what is REALLY going on here!?!" ?

mollyrotondo This was my favorite book of 2019!!! 3y
Chelsea.Poole @mollyrotondo I'm glad to hear some love for this! I read a bunch of reviews from readers who didn't love it. I thought it was great 😊 3y
mollyrotondo @Chelsea.Poole I gave this book in a Christmas book swap and the person who got it did not like it as much haha but I loved it so much and would even read it again 3y
95 likes4 stack adds3 comments
blurb
Chelsea.Poole
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

#currentlyreading #audiobook #readandlisten
Boy oh boy, is this thing spooky!! Glad I've got my whole family home while reading this creepy, way-too-relatable book!

96 likes2 stack adds
blurb
theladygreer
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

Read more about the book that RECIPE FOR A PERFECT WIFE author Karma Brown​​ "read in one breathless sitting" on today's #read99women: http://www.greermacallister.com/blog/2020/1/29/read99women-karma-brown

21 likes1 stack add
review
bookwrm526
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Mehso-so

What...did I just read? I really loved the first half, even after it got weird, the ending just really threw me. It was definitely gripping and engrossing and very visceral, and I can only imagine what it would feel like for mothers.

blurb
LitDrivenGirl
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

Goes to library for one hold pickup and a of couple movies... leaves with no movies and 3 books instead 😏😅. I started The Need last night and I wish I could hermit myself away to keep reading it, very engaging from the start. I'm grudgingly reading the Roberts book (eventually) and Emily St. John Mandel recommended Dan Chaon the other day on GR. Coincidentally she has a shout out on The Need too 🤩.

17 likes1 stack add
review
Blaire
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Mehso-so

Hard to rate. She gets the monotony and exhaustion of early motherhood and how it messes with your mind and identity. She plays with this idea as the suspense builds and she tries to figure out if there is an intruder in her house. Her eventual discovery plays out her own worst fears. Felt like had tons of potential but didn‘t quite get there. #readinoneday #booked2020

quote
Blaire
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

As winter break comes to an end and I enjoy some quiet time alone in the house...ever grateful to not work on mondays...this quote captures how I often feel when arriving to work especially in the early post-maternity leave days. My kids are still pretty bad sleepers so this feeling is still present.

Chrissyreadit Oh! I so relate! Both kids reverse cycled due to nursing and my work schedule. I lost my short term memory and still haven‘t fully regained it 16 years later. 3y
Blaire Right! My kids are 5 and 7 now, but both still wake in the night and I come into work feeling totally useless. For the first 3 years of my daughter‘s life I really don‘t know how I got anything productive done. 3y
54 likes2 comments
review
arubabookwoman
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Pickpick

This book is why I don‘t make my best of list until the last day. I‘ve never read anything quite like it, and it will resonate with me for a long time. On the one hand it‘s a picture-perfect tone poem of the joys and drudgery of motherhood. (4 year old Viv is an absolute gem). But then it slips into something surreal or perhaps supernatural, and goes places I‘ve never thought about. I‘m not sure where we end up, but I loved the trip.

JenniferP That sounds appealing. On the TBR it goes. 3y
29 likes3 stack adds1 comment
blurb
lovelybookshelf
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

December = A Month of Faves. Today's prompt is Popular Books Worth the Hype. I chose 3 nonfiction (top) and 3 fiction (bottom) titles I had heard a ton about in 2019 and felt lived up to the hype around them. (Well actually, the hype around Nadia Bolz-Weber's book is a whole different story, but I loved it!) All 6 books were published this year. #AMonthofFaves

blurb
Conservio
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

Recently heard about this on the #readingenvy #podcast.

In the background is Ember. #petsoflitsy #dogsoflitsy

ReadingEnvy It sounded good! I want to try it too. 3y
15 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
AlizaApp
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Pickpick

A woman taking care of her two young children is startled by a familiar but some malevolent intruder. At work looking for plant fossils, she keeps finding mysterious artifacts, like a bible that uses female pronouns for god. This novel was often unsettling in a good way.

Slajaunie I panned it. 3y
Megabooks Totally agree! I love Helen Phillips! 3y
40 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
rachelsbrittain
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

Next round of Goodreads Choice Awards!

review
Jemgirl2014
The Need | Helen Phillips
Bailedbailed

I got up to part two and when I saw where it was going, I bailed. My interest faded away just like that.

review
lovelybookshelf
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Pickpick

This was truly unsettling from start to finish. I'm not exactly sure what happened at the end, and I don't really want to entertain the ideas I have. I know there's symbolism packed into the focus on breastfeeding/the let-down reflex, but it felt so heavy-handed and repetitive that I caught myself rolling my eyes. Helen Phillips had me in this character's headspace the whole time, which was downright disturbing. Psychologically a thrilling read.

review
Redwritinghood
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Panpan

#nbafiction2019 Did I miss something here? I‘m not sure. This book raised a number of tantalizing and mysterious situations, but then all the MC did was breastfeed her infant son and take care of her toddler daughter. Big wasted opportunity with this one.

readordierachel I don't think you're alone. Have seen a lot of similar responses to this one. I was intrigued but perhaps I'll skip it. 3y
66 likes1 comment
blurb
rachelsbrittain
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

Two of my favorite things: fall drinks and books

https://bookriot.com/2019/10/26/fall-drink-and-book-pairings/

review
Avanders
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Mehso-so

2 stars for awesome concept and moments of brilliance. But the execution and the ... story? Not remotely for me. And to be clear, I *am* a mom of a toddler. So I haven't “forgotten,“ I just don't think this hits it. Not for me anyway.

***ETA: After much thought & discussion w/ #RLBookClub members... upgrading to 3 stars. Lots of really smart, impressive stuff here... but some disappointing stuff too.

#screamathon

review
Godpants
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Mehso-so

This started out so strongly for me, but overall I don‘t think it worked. I don‘t know who this book is for: moms? Maybe, but it seems too painful for moms, and like not enough substance for anyone else. #scarathlon #teamStoker 2 points.

BeansPage 🧟‍♀️ 3y
Avanders As a mom, I can say no. It‘s not for us. 😳🤭😉 3y
Godpants @Avanders LOL! I was thinking maybe some of the sentiments would strike more to a mom, but didn‘t actually think it‘s for moms. 😆 3y
13 likes4 comments
blurb
Godpants
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

The first review I stumbled upon said to go into this one blind, so let‘s get this started! #scarathlon #teamStoker 1 point

BeansPage 🧟‍♀️ 3y
11 likes1 comment
review
rachelsbrittain
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Pickpick

A weird thriller about a paleobotanist, a bible with feminine pronouns, motherhood, identity, & parallel universes. It hooks you immediately with alternating timelines between Molly's daily life at the archeological pit & the moment she realizes there's an intruder in the house. The writing is so immersive it was uncomfortable at times, but that's a testament to the writing. Ending is a bit abrupt, but overall a really weird, entrancing read.

Melismatic Sounds interesting! 3y
36 likes3 stack adds1 comment
blurb
SitsWithaBook
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

Well, this sure starts out creepy!

madamereadsalot1 That sounds so fascinating! Stacked! 3y
sprainedbrain Oh I just added this one to my tbr! 3y
37 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
Avanders
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

Here‘s my #spookytbr for the #screamathon #screamathonreadingchallenge ... erm, #aspirational ... #veryaspirational ... #letsbehonestillprobablyonlyreadacouple

Plus unpictured audios: Billionaire Blend (mystery) and the tagged ... and an as-yet-unknown #cozybeanbookclub #cbbc selection I‘ll receive... Oh!! And The Silence for #LMPBC!

alisiakae your hashtags are 😂 😂 3y
80 likes2 comments
blurb
rachelsbrittain
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

1. Gideon the Ninth and The Need

2. The Deep by Rivers Solomon

3. Orpheus Girl, Don't Read the Comments, and The Light at the Bottom of the World

#weekendreads

lovelybookshelf I loved Rivers Solomon's first book. Totally need to read The Deep! 3y
rachelsbrittain @lovelybookshelf Same! It's such a good one, too. And a novella which I didn't realize going into it. 3y
44 likes2 comments
review
shaynarae
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Pickpick

Described as “mom horror,” this book is a story with supernatural elements about a mother‘s paranoia about an intruder in her house and protecting her children while her partner is away. As a childless adult, I found this book powerful and engaging. It was hard to put down!

Cpg I‘m just starting on this one....and why do I want to say “The Weed” when I see the cover??? 😮😬😎 3y
29 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
KimmyM
The Need | Helen Phillips
Pickpick

I can't say that I feel like I totally understood this one, but it was a fascinating, propulsive read.

11 likes1 stack add
blurb
rachelsbrittain
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

*finally* some time to read again and celebrate getting through the first draft of a new book with donuts 😍

44 likes1 stack add
review
Tiffiney
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Panpan

Such a bizarre read! I know a lot of people loved it. Not my cup of tea though. A lot of hype about the end. I found it strange and confusing.

Redwritinghood Waiting on this from the library, although I probably wouldn‘t read it if not for it making the National Book Award longlist. (edited) 3y
Tiffiney The good news is that it's a fairly short book! I read it because of all the hype. It's not a terrible book...just a really weird one 😊 3y
lele1432 It was very bizarre. I liked it but am still unsure what happened in the end lol 3y
Tiffiney @lele1432 right?!! Confusing to me as well 🤷🏼‍♀️ 3y
27 likes4 comments
review
Thndrstd
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Pickpick

An intense novel about the fears that come with becoming a mother. When Molly is home alone with her two young children, an intruder enters the house and the intruder knows more about Molly and the kids than can be possible. Creepy and terrifying, this is a sharp, tightly written novel about a mother's worst fears for herself and her children.

Megabooks Great review! I loved it too. 3y
36 likes2 comments
blurb
rachelsbrittain
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image

New library book per a glowing recommendation from @Mollyegutman

Megabooks I loved it! 3y
29 likes1 comment
review
kbuggle
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Mehso-so

What a bizarre fever dream of a novel. This was certainly interesting, but some elements I wish had been more fleshed out, rather just grazed upon with just enough to keep you thinking it was going to be relevant to the story. I went into this on audio with no expectations, and I think if I had known more, I may have held off on reading this one for a bit longer.

review
andytbarnes
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Pickpick

@GrilledCheeseSamurai woah that‘s a lot of Litsfluence #sixdigitsamurai ! Congrats and thanks for the opportunity for such a cool giveaway. Fellow littens, follow and enter if you‘re silly and have yet to do so. I tagged a book I gave 5 stars to that I think is probably my favorite that I haven‘t already plugged, so also go read that if you haven‘t!

28 likes1 stack add
review
Cathyloves2read
The Need | Helen Phillips
This post contains spoilers
show me
Panpan

I‘d like to talk about this book. What did it mean to you? I have some ideas..... were there really two? Molly and Mol? Was she delusional from being exhausted? Was she psychotic? At times, I thought maybe she had been in an accident and was in a coma and was dreaming. I was disappointed with the end, because it did not answer my questions. What do you think?

review
Jenken1998
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Mehso-so

EH....the writting was superb but the plot and action were less than 🌋. The author captures the portrait of an exhausted working mother of 2 under the age of 5. Molly confronts an intruder in her home and then it kind of goes flat from there. I was confused not understanding if this was a suspense thriller, paranormal thriller or horror piece.. it left a lot of questions. I gave it 3 stars because i did like the words.

cathipink I really enjoyed this book, but definitely had the feeling of 'What did I just read?' when I finished. 3y
59 likes1 comment
review
JacqMac
The Need | Helen Phillips
post image
Mehso-so

Well, that was weird. Not bad weird. Not great weird. But ok weird. The first 2/3 were great. I really got sucked in. But I finished feeling unfulfilled.
First #24B4Monday and #SummersEndReadathon book done.
@TheReadingMermaid @Andrew65 @Clwojick @Clwojick

Clwojick Your time for today is great! Way to go! ♥️ 3y
BeansPage Making great time darlin!🤘😆🤘 3y
Andrew65 A great time, if not a great book. 👏👏👏 3y
46 likes3 comments