Walking into the heart of the West Coast bush, Zillah wants to turn her back on a time she’d sooner forget. But relentless memory, and the five men she meets up the rugged valley, force her to confront what haunts her. What light can four strangers — and the enigmatic Joseph — shed on Zillah’s disquieting past?
Bewitchingly evocative of its wilderness setting, and the heat of Spain, Zillah is a spellbinding, psychological thriller. Exquisite, astute, affecting, the novel brings the Watermark trilogy to a rich conclusion.
Just as Dark did, Zillah took me by surprise. I hadn’t had sequels (sequelae?!) in mind when I wrote Watermark, but obviously Zillah still had some growing up to do and someone had to write that into being.
I was alarmed to find so many blokes with weapons crossing her path — men with cameras, guns, knives, spatulas (spatulae?) and blazing sticks. Freud would have had a field day. (He’d probably have had plenty to say, too, about the symbolism of going up valleys, sleeping in caves, and the kind of cleaning frenzies to which Zillah is prone.) Still, it’s an important job for any young woman, to negotiate the tricky terrain of sexuality — hers and that of the men she encounters — to come to terms with her own appetites and anxieties; her mis-steps and her capacity to recover from them; her difficult and her delectable encounters.