Archive for the ‘W.W. Norton’ Tag

Looking forward   2 comments

Lydia Millet’s A Children’s Bible is bleak; it’s not for kids. It’s a cross between Bless the Beasts and the Children and The Road; it’s an allegory about climate change.

Ironically-named Eve narrates. On vacation at a lakeside mansion, she’s one of 12 children whose parents pass the time drinking and doing drugs.  The kids have nothing but disdain for the neglectful adults. Instead, they create their own games and adventures, including a camping trip via canoes to the shore.

These are not your average youths. They carefully plan their excursion ensuring they bring the right supplies. They also know that when weather alerts forecast a major storm it’s time to return to the estate.

To their credit, the parents are aware of the approaching tempest, which evolves into a storm of massive proportions. However, once power is lost and food supplies run low, it’s the adolescents who understand it’s time to go. Unable to convince their parents how urgent the situation is, the kids leave them behind.

Tension builds as the children discover their world is now an apocalyptic nightmare.  Although they encounter kindness from some adults, they also face armed men willing to battle for any resources needed to survive.

Eve’s little brother, Jack, has a picture book of Bible stories with many connecting to the dire conditions.

Relying on the younger generation to first recognize the danger caused by the storm and then seek solutions is symbolic given the existing climate crisis.

A Children’s Bible

Almost Four Bookmarks

W.W. Norton, 2020

224 pages