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As the resourceful, relentless Li tracks her lost daughter across a disintegrating country, the journey will test the limits of her trust, her hope and her love. Unsheltered will leave you wrung out and gasping.

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, author of The Vintner’s Luck and The Absolute Tree

Photograph © Stan Alley

Clare Moleta grew up in Western Australia. Her fiction has been published in literary journals including Sport and Turbine | Kapohau and broadcast on Radio New Zealand. She has a Writing Diploma from Melbourne’s RMIT and an MA in Creative Writing from Victoria University of Wellington, and her award-winning travel writing has appeared in the Herald on Sunday and AA Directions magazine, among others. She now lives in Wellington, Aotearoa.

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia (May 5, 2021)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781761100758