In a near-future world where tree pollen has made outdoor air unbreathable, a woman's safe but tedious life is thrown into turmoil when she witnesses a murder and her young daughter starts sleep-talking about the killer.
... [a] richly imagined twenty-first-century dystopian exploration of the immutable transformation of the physical world ... a bleak yet engrossing and suspenseful tale that simultaneously delivers a lyrical homage to motherhood and a piercing vision of the fragility of humankind’s relationship with the natural world.
... the prose feels almost too clean. Izabel is honest and transparent with the reader, but is without any true volition, as if she clearly knows what is coming next. Her wants and desires are never filtered, but are given to the reader without a struggle, never overly conflicted. The anthropomorphizing of the trees as if to reflect a 'better humanity' is a strange addition. It remains only a tease, since despite the revelation of the trees having such a deep self awareness, it does not inherently change the characters or world. The story ends in a neat package, with various subplots summed up in a few pages, as if Blake wanted to avoid a more complicated or ambiguous denouement.
Blake’s fascinating, idiosyncratic second novel...constructs a haunting postapocalyptic world ... The novel’s tone is restrained, sometimes verging on mannered, which belies the gradual but effective accumulation of emotions and images. The skillful blend of postapocalyptic science fiction, supernatural murder mystery, and domestic drama is unexpected and entirely engrossing.