Relentlessly propulsive and profoundly moving, Unsheltered taps into some of our worst fears and most implacable motivations, marking the emergence of a fully-formed and urgent literary voice.
Against a background of social breakdown and destructive weather, Unsheltered tells the story of a woman’s search for her daughter. Li never wanted to bring a child into a world like this but now that eight-year-old Matti is missing, she will stop at nothing to find her.
As she crosses the great barren country alone and on foot, living on what she can find and fuelled by visions of her daughter just out of sight ahead, Li will have every instinct tested. She knows the odds against her: an uncompromising landscape, an uncaring system, time running out, and the risks of any encounters on the road. But her own failings and uncertainty might be the greatest obstacle of all. Because even if she finds her, how can she hope to shield Matti from the future?
At times tender, at times terrifying, Unsheltered is an engrossing, unpredictable novel that keeps the reader in suspense all the way to the end. A brilliant feat of imagination that asks if our humanity is the only protection we have left, Unsheltered will affect you in ways a book hasn’t done in years.
'Unsheltered reads like a thriller, is utterly convincing in all its invention, and kept a hard hold of me from beginning to end.' Elizabeth Knox
'Li is an unforgettable character, whose scars are as compelling as her extraordinary resourcefulness - she powers an urgent, heart-stopping novel.' Emily Perkins
'Unsheltered is a fist-clenching, breath-holding, heart-accelerating reading experience. Clare Moleta writes with clarity and force, conjuring a terrifyingly real world of environmental desolation and bureaucratic mercilessness, but also, vitally, one in which empathy, love and hope stubbornly persist. In temperamentally tenacious and teeth-grittingly tough Li, Moleta has created a heroine who is utterly believable in both her ambivalence about becoming a parent and in her single-minded determination to keep that child safe.' Emily Maguire
Author: Moleta, Clare
Publication date: 05/05/2021