I’ve just finished reading Sannah and the Pilgrim, my first journey into the sub-genre of climate fiction. I’m not a reader of the fantasy genre, then again, I wouldn’t call Sue Parritt’s book fantasy. Instead Parritt paints a stark post-climate change dystopia that contains as much realism and social commentary relevant to us today, as it does details of an imaginary future world. The message is clear, challenge the status quo or this is where we are heading. And for that alone, I commend the author.
The story is simple and straightforward. Sannah discovers a strange man on her doorstep who calls himself a pilgrim. Together, and with the help of co-conspirators, they seek the escape of political prisoners while there is still a chance to do it.
In Sannah and the Pilgrim there are no tangents into the deep introspections of tortured hearts and minds. The narrative voice is matter-of-fact, an apt style that mirrors the, for the most part, taken-for-granted acceptance of Australia’s apartheid social structure hundreds of years from now.
The story is compelling and satisfying, the landscape bleak, yet in the end Parritt allows her readers to take away a little hope. I would recommend this book to younger readers looking for a good climate fiction read. 4 Stars