Desert sands have laid waste to the Southwest of America. Las Vegas is buried. California - and anyone still there - is stranded. Any way out is severely restricted. But Luz and Ray are not leaving. They survive on water rations, black market fruit and each other's need. Luz needs Ray, and Ray must be needed. But then they cross paths with a mysterious child, and the thirst for a better future begins.
It's said there's a man on the edge of the Dune Sea. He leads a camp of believers. He can find water. Venturing into this dry heart of darkness, Luz thinks she has found their saviour. For the will to survive taps hidden powers, and the needed, and the needy, will exploit it.
Like Margaret Atwood, Claire Vaye Watkins uses dystopia to traverse the scarred frontier of the heart, exploring the myths we tell about others and ourselves. In her bare and brilliant prose, nature and human nature, conspiracy and cult, motherhood and manhood are played out across the vast, implacable desert.
©2016 Claire Vaye Watkins (P)2015 Penguin Audio
The opening of this book piqued my interest immediately. This is a beautifully written novel, although the constant listing began to grate after a while. However, the quality of the prose was the best thing about it. I was intrigued and kept with the story. The main characters were interesting, though not necessarily likable and this made it a bit of a slog. The child is adorable and found myself smiling when she spoke. She brought life to the monotony of the story, beautifully illustrating the life she brought to their monotonous existence. But when the story reached its climax I was nonplussed. I just didn't care enough about the characters to feel anything more than irritation.
Ultimately this is a well written story, rich in impressive imagery. I am sure some will thoroughly enjoy this journey and think I'm crazy, but I found the journey tedious and the ending disappointing.
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