Verla and Yolanda wake up to find themselves drugged and abducted in a remote part of Australia. Whatever this place is, they have had no choice in coming here. Like a prison sentence, except they have committed no crime, and there was no jury. They are paying the price for their involvement in sex crimes and misdemeanors – victim, or no.
This difficult though well-written book reminded me of a female version of Lord of the Flies. Away from the social mores and structures of everyday Australian society, these women are debased and de-identified. From this base, almost animal, level they rebuild themselves, taking their cues from the harsh land they wander.
Wood uses this allegorical tale to explore notions of contemporary misogyny, and in doing so provokes thought, disgust, anger and recognition that there is truth in this distopian tale. While brilliant, this book rubbed my fur the wrong way. A difficult but important read which will provoke much thought and discussion at this month’s book club.