Publisher:Random House New Zealand Ltd
The third volume in Penelope Todd's award-winning “Watermark Trilogy”, this strong, thoughtful and affecting novel brings its main character, Zillah, fully into womanhood. Zillah revisits her special hideaway, Roimata, on the West Coast, as she tries to absorb the trauma of a blighted working holiday in Spain. It's an attempt to give herself time to make sense of her immediate past and clarify her feelings for her friend, Joseph. She discovers the army has closed off the area and, instead, has to hike her way through the Coast's wild weather and wilderness to a temporary refuge in a well-used hut. She encounters an array of eccentric and sometimes raw characters: not only Joseph himself, but also a “survivalist”, trampers and hunters. Events en route mean that Zillah not only has to deal with the haunting episode from Spain, but also the rough basics of living in the bush and enduring the company of some testing strangers. Yet Zillah also has to learn the limitations of her own desires and responses: respect for herself, for Joseph's wishes, too: and that leaping into an intimate relationship isn't the way to erase or escape the events of the past nine months.
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