Desert sands have laid waste to the south-west 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.