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Sweet Lamb of Heaven

A Novel

Lydia Millet (Author)

Overview | Formats

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction: Blending domestic thriller and psychological horror, this compelling page-turner follows a mother fleeing her estranged husband.

Lydia Millet’s previous work has been shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Likewise greeted with rapturous praise, Sweet Lamb of Heaven is a first-person account of a young mother, Anna, fleeing 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.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • May 2017
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35418-8
  • 5.6 × 8.3 in / 256 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

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  1. Book CoverSweet Lamb of Heaven: A Novel


Endorsements & Reviews

“[A]n extraordinary metaphysical thriller from one of America’s most inventive novelists.” — Laura Miller, Slate

“Lydia Millet is not as popular as she should be. This novel will change that…Her ambitious new novel, Sweet Lamb of Heaven, is part fast-paced thriller, part quiet meditation on the nature of God.” — Lisa Zeidner, Washington Post

“A rare pleasure to read… Millet’s fine prose [is] as rich with fresh imagery as it is open-minded to life’s hidden possibilities.” — Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe

“Millet’s sense of pacing is acute and her prose is glittering and exact.” — New Yorker

“[A] novel so eerie, so chilling and provocative, that you might find yourself rethinking everything you thought you knew about language, belief, and where our human race might be going.” — Caroline Leavitt, San Francisco Chronicle

“[A] hypnotic novel of psychological and philosophical suspense.” — O Magazine

“[A]ddictive, unsettling… sneaks in some high-minded themes (the nature of reality, the fragility of human connection) without distracting one iota from the suspense. A winner.” — People

“[P]repare to be surprised by more than plot twists. . . . the Pulitzer finalist’s philosophical fireworks add layers of energy and mystery.” — Boris Katchka, Vulture

“Millet evinces a rare capacity to surprise and fascinate readers… Unpredictable in the best sense, Millet’s eye-opening stories and conceptions are irresistibly interesting. This may be her most beguiling and accessible creation yet.” — David Wright, The Seattle Times

“A peculiar, stirring thriller. . . . Millet has a knack for planting plainspoken, world-weary narrators in otherworldly circumstances, and Anna is one of her sharpest, most intriguingly philosophical creations.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Millet weaves a satisfying cat and mouse game… Her novel reads like top-notch psychological suspense…This is a page-turner from a very talented writer, and the result is a crowd-pleaser.” — Publishers Weekly

“Operating, as always, on multiple levels with artistic panache, emotional precision, and profound intent, Millet transforms a violent family conflict into a war of cosmic proportions over nothing less than life itself.” — Donna Seaman, Booklist

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