The Sunlit Zone
by Lisa Jacobson
5 Islands Press, $29.95 pb, 165 pp, 9780734047465
It is 2050 in Melbourne. The seas have risen, full of accidental genetic mixtures and cloned versions of extinct favourites, while the land is dried out and life is a tense combination of techno-affluence, terror, and normality.
This is the world the characters in Lisa Jacobson’s submarine, emotive verse novel inhabit – almost a dystopia, but not quite. The central character, North, lives a life blighted by the drowning of her sister, Finn, left unwatched while North was distracted by adolescent beach-fumblings. The novel moves with North through the depths of grief and guilt, seeking the light, while the world becomes more and more watery around her.