Author: Julianne Pachico
About the book
Lena has always lived in the jungle with Mother. There they look after a holiday home in surroundings that burst with colour and crawl with danger. Lena's only other friend is Isabella, who once visited regularly with her wealthy parents and security drone, Anton. But Isabella and her family haven't been seen in years.
Mother is not like other mothers. She gets angry when Lena draws her with a face. When Lena challenges her to portray herself, she paints a tiny yellow dot surrounded by swirling black. She is a bastion of light, she says, against an army of darkness.
Outside, rebels are fighting to take over the country. Mother is determined nothing will change inside the security fence, nothing to threaten her bond with Lena, or endanger the family. But there are secrets that need to emerge. How did Lena end up here? And what has happened to the family who no longer visit? What has Mother been planning, and what is gathering around them to change their lives forever?
About the author
Julianne Pachico was born in 1985 in Cambridge, England. She grew up in Cali, Colombia, where her parents worked in international development as agricultural social scientists.
She had a short story on the long list for the Sunday Times Prize, and is also the only writer to have two stories in the 2015 anthology of the Best British Short Stories. Her short stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published by The New Yorker, Granta, The White Review, and Lighthouse, among others. She holds dual citizenship in the U.S. and the U.K.
She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at UEA, and co-convenor of the MA in Prose Fiction.