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Sannah and the Pilgrim Paperback – April 26, 2014
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About the Author
Originally from England, Sue worked after graduating (B.A. University of Queensland, majors in English Literature, Drama and French) in university libraries until taking early retirement in 2008 to concentrate on creative writing. Since then she has written: 'Sannah and the Pilgrim,' several short stories, articles and poems, which have been published in magazines and anthologies, a feature film script 'Feed Thy Enemy'(based on a true story) set in Naples in 1944 and 1974, and a second novel 'Safety Zone.' Her current project is a sequel to 'Sannah and the Pilgrim' - working title 'Pia and the Skyman.'
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Top Customer Reviews
I’ve just read ‘Sannah and the Pilgrim’ by Sue Parritt - an amazing novel – wow!
It’s a dystopian vision of a future apartheid Australia where a clandestine group ‘The Women’s Line’ comprising descendants of environmental refugees from drowned Pacific islands, engage in seditious activities to undermine the oppressive government. The arrival of an otherworld Pilgrim gives Sannah and her friends a chance to fast track their struggle.
Parritt’s imagination and related background research are impressive. The evocation of the physical environment/the setting is very strong. It’s very easy to want to keep on reading. She has drawn great characters - delightful. I found the practice of naming the characters by their role was useful to help me to remember who they were, as well as being a key anchor of the setting, Brown Zone (Queensland), Australia, 2399.
There seemed to be a big gap in having the story in that setting with absolutely no mention of the Indigenous Aboriginal people but after email correspondence with the author through her website www.sueparritt.com, I learned that the absence of Indigenous people was deliberate, another example of the lies Sannah’s people are fed. e.g. In one of the Tales Sannah the Storyteller relates the ‘fact’ that Europeans came to an uninhabited land.
Gender relations and sexuality are both very key and strongly drawn factors in the story. Sannah has another role, that of ‘lover’ to many white men, which enables her to acquire information useful to the Women’s Line. They connect of course with race relations, so it’s the gender/race connection.
I was encouraged to read “Sannah and the Pilgrim’ as it’s not the sort of book (genre) I usually read. I’m looking forward to the sequel, ‘Pia and the Skyman.’
Her vision of Australia is a disturbing one, yet like all good fiction it makes the reader stop to consider the likelihood of such events and question the current state of government attitudes and policy.
Parritt's dystopian Australia has had an influx of Pacific Island refugees whose countries have been flooded due to global warming. A system of apartheid is firmly in place and the country is divided into zones based upon race. The government has an education system designed to hide the truths of the past and to continue to subjugate non-white races.
This is a tale of individuals fighting against "the system" to bring light to government lies and to free themselves and their people - an age old tale that is never-the-less constantly relevant.
This is not my usual choice of reading and was not quite "my thing"- I tend to read the battles and magic type of fantasy, hence my three star rating. However it is very well written and I am absolutely sure will be loved even more by others.
There were instances where I felt the book rushed ahead of me, and I felt the need to assume, but I was always reassured and my assumptions proved correct soon after.
Few authors would have written such a bold ending, and I was pleasantly surprised that Parritt did. The bravery of the author in the last few chapters was a risk, but for my reading experience it has paid dividends. I felt respected as a reader, and more importantly, it really capped off an immensely enjoyable read.
'Sannah and the Pilgrim' is a dystopian futuristic story depicting a segregated society following the impact of climate change. It's a fascinating story, especially with the subject matter being so relevant to our world today. However, the novel is a compelling read in itself as the truth is gradually revealed and as we come to care about the fate of the characters suffering at the hands of the new world apartheid Australia.