Lydia Millet's chilling new novel is the first-person account of a young mother, Anna, escaping her cold and unfaithful husband, a businessman who's just launched his first campaign for political office. When Ned chases Anna and their six-year-old daughter from Alaska to Maine, the two go into hiding in a run-down motel on the coast.Read more...
Lydia Millet's chilling new novel is the first-person account of a young mother, Anna, escaping her cold and unfaithful husband, a businessman who's just launched his first campaign for political office. When Ned chases Anna and their six-year-old daughter from Alaska to Maine, the two go into hiding in a run-down motel on the coast. But the longer they stay, the less the guests in the dingy motel look like typical tourists--and the less Ned resembles a typical candidate. As his pursuit of Anna and their child moves from threatening to criminal, Ned begins to alter his wife's world in ways she never could have imagined.
A double-edged and satisfying story with a strong female protagonist, a thrilling plot, and a creeping sense of the apocalyptic, Sweet Lamb of Heaven builds to a shattering ending with profound implications for its characters--and for all of us.
- ISBN-13: 9780393285543
- ISBN-10: 0393285545
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
- Publish Date: May 2016
- Page Count: 256
- Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-12-14
- Reviewer: Staff
Pulitzer Prizefinalist Millets latest novel (following Mermaids in Paradise) begins with Anna and her six-year-old daughter, Lena, leaving Alaska while on the run from her husband, Ned. The bad news is that sociopathic Ned doesnt give up so easily: despite years of neglecting Lena and cheating on Anna, hes got his eyes set on an Alaska state senator seat, and he needs Anna and Lena to fill the roles of loving wife and daughter. Anna and Lena hole up at a shoddy Maine motel, which soon fills up with other seemingly normal folks. But Anna is always on guard, a quality amplified ever since Lena was born and Anna began hearing a voice (which recites Woody Guthrie lyrics, as well as poems, dictionaries, and textbooks). When Ned shows up and threatens Anna, she must figure out a way protect Lena and herself. Annas touching relationship with Lena strongly contrasts her dislike of Ned, and Millet weaves a satisfying cat and mouse game between the estranged couple. Her novel reads like top-notch psychological suspense, with an emphasis on the psychological: Annas paranoia is smartly given an additional, possibly supernatural dimension with the unknown voice, which becomes an inextricable part of her flight. This is a page-turner from a very talented writer, and the result is a crowd-pleaser. (May)