Dark is certainly for the thinking reader. Todd handles the breakdown of Joss, in all its disturbing aspects, particularly well. —William Taylor (NZ Books)

This is a beautifully written, challenging story that explores the darkness of the unknown… —Glenda Rogers (Teen Stuff)

Finalist in 2005 NZ Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

Zillah returns to the Coast, but Joss seems to be heading into a downward spiral…

Penelope comments:

I let the character Joss go into the darkness of his own head which meant protagonist Zillah had to take the role of observer, reporting what happened and what he managed to articulate. Still, the experience provided a gauge for her own capacities and limits. I was interested in the idea that in some cultures mental illness is seen as a possible indicator of shamanistic gifts, and that the young person in jeopardy might be undergoing their initiation. I’m not advocating drug-free self-care; for most people that would be inappropriate, but I’m not sure that most of us allow ‘normal’ a very wide range. We are more inclined to repress than to celebrate sensitivity to life’s less rational phenomena.

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