The Inland Sea

The Inland Sea

In the early 19th century, British explorer John Oxley traversed the then-unknown wilderness of central Australia in search of water. Oxley never found it, but he never ceased to believe it was out there. The myth of the inland sea was taken up by other men, and over the years search parties walked out into the desert, dying as they tried to find it.

Two centuries later, his great-great-great-great granddaughter (and our narrator) spends a final year in Sydney reeling from her own self-destructive obsessions. She's working part-time as an emergency dispatch operator, drinking heavily, sleeping with strangers, wandering Sydney's streets late at night, and navigating an affair with an ex-lover. Reckless and adrift, she prepares to leave.

Written with down-to-earth lucidity and ethereal breeziness, this is an unforgettable debut about coming of age in a world that seems increasingly hostile. Watts explores feminine fear, apathy and danger, building to a tightly controlled bushfire of ecological and personal crisis.

Title:The Inland Sea
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781911590231
Format Type:

    The Inland Sea Reviews

  • Michael Livingston

    A bleak book about a young woman's life slowly falling apart as climate-driven disasters loom. There's a desperation to this book that resonated with me - the struggle to find meaning when the future ...

  • Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)

    Incredibly clever premise behind this book that grabbed my attention immediately - a narrative connecting a colonial explorer, John Oxley, who imagined an inland sea within Australia, and a contempora...

  • Rebecca

    “Emergency police fire, or ambulance?” The young female narrator of this debut novel lives in Sydney and works for Australia’s emergency call service. Over her phone headset she gets appalling g...

  • Miina Saarna

    A beautiful book! ...

  • Susie Anderson

    i read in this the kind of intimate honesty about place that is only possible from a distance. while it's one of the best aspects of this book, perhaps it was demonstrated through fashionable and thus...

  • Lel Budge

    Set in Australia, the narrator has just finished university and gets a job in an emergency dispatch call centre. Where she has drifted along in her safe little world, she starts to feel there is dange...

  • Melissa

    "The open wilderness of adulthood stretched ahead like so much wasteland."This novel really got me. I'm a similar age to the protagonist, am a writer (of sorts) like her, have had similar experiences ...

  • Camila - Books Through My Veins

    - thanks to @allenandunwin for sending the copy my way💕When I started reading The Inland Sea, I had no idea what this novel was about. As usual, I read the blurb ages ago when I requested it, but, ...

  • Rosie Hunt

    A moody, contemplative novel. Some breathtaking writing, weaving the impact of climate change into a young woman’s very personal story....

  • Olivia

    What a wild novel. I'm not sure that it succeeds perfectly at everything it attempts to do but it attempts so much. The climate change and gendered violence connection was, at times, a bit reductive a...