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After a punishing storm sweeps through their shared vacation home, a group of children decide to run away. They’re annoyed with their parents’ responses to the catastrophe—many of whom chose to self-medicate in the face of chaos. What ensues is both a timeless adventure story and a distressing narrative about the burden today’s younger generations carry, forced to deal with times that feel increasingly apocalyptic. The agonizing concern in A Children’s Bible is not these characters’ proximity to the end of the world, but instead their readiness for it. It’s a haunting message, and one that author Lydia Millet underlines in the judgmental, precocious voice of her teenage narrator, Evie: the children are listening, and they know it’s on them to clean up the messes the adults have left behind.

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