Millet’s novels wear their darkness lightly. She is just so funny, her observations are so sharp, and her details so absurd, that one can almost forget the fundamental seriousness of her themes. Her stories often consider our solipsism and short-sightedness, the deviousness of politicians and the destruction of our planet. But please don’t be daunted by this grim list. Ms. Millet does not sermonize. Even at its gloomiest, her fiction is a pleasure ... It is a good thing Ms. Millet is so prolific, as her amusing portraits of human error seem terribly attuned to this disconcerting moment ... This book’s timeliness is almost eerie ... Part allegory, part adventure story, this fast-paced book manages to find the humor in an apocalypse. The chuckles are frequent but subtle ... This is not an optimistic book, but it is not without hope. Ms. Millet sees some potential in the clear-eyed urgency of young people, who are right to question the self-serving pragmatism of their elders. She also finds something meaningful in the impulse to make things, and the role art can play in capturing and clarifying the splendor and drama of this world. With this slim yet potent book, she shows it is even possible to coax pleasure and beauty from the uncomfortable work of highlighting unfortunate truths.
A Children’s Bible is most successful when read as a parable ... But if it’s a parable, it’s deadpan-funny, told in the first person by Eve, a youngish adolescent, in an economical, spot-on snarky voice ... this is very much a novel for our times. The Greta Thunberg-type anger and disdain the children have for the adults is rooted in pressing concern about climate change and the catastrophe that will arrive unless grown-ups act with grown-up urgency about the degradation of the environment ... In A Children’s Bible, Lydia Millet has given us a compellingly written, compact, slyly funny novel that warns of the catastrophic events that may very well overwhelm us. Unless.
... visionary ... Eerie biblical illusions—to crucifixions; old lives left behind; angels, saviors, and tormentors; and plagues and resurrections—couple with stark, realistic examples of how human beings behave when they’re pushed past the familiar. That its young cast remains so centered, even as waters rise and systems collapse around them, is part of what makes this atypical cli-fi novel so riveting.