Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour A Question of Country by Sue Parritt.
Originally from England, Sue worked in university libraries until taking early retirement in 2008 to concentrate on creative writing. Since then she has written short stories, articles, poetry, a short TV drama script and seven novels:
Sannah and the Pilgrim, first in a trilogy of a future dystopian Australia focusing on climate change and the harsh treatment of refugees from drowned Pacific islands. Odyssey Books, 2014. Commended in the FAW Christina Stead Award, 2014. Pia and the Skyman, Odyssey Books, 2016. Commended in the FAW Christina Stead Award, 2016. The Sky Lines Alliance, Odyssey Books, 2016. Chrysalis, the story of a perceptive girl growing up in a Quaker family in swinging sixties’ Britain. Morning Star Press, 2017
Re-Navigation recounts a life turned upside down when forty-year old Julia journeys from the sanctuary of middle-class Australian suburbia to undertake a retreat at a college located on an isolated Welsh island. Creativia Publishing, 2019.
Feed Thy Enemy, based on Sue’s father’s experiences, is an account of courage and compassion in the face of trauma as a British airman embarks on a plan that risks all to feed a starving, war-stricken family. Creativia Publishing, 2019. A Question of Country explores the migrant experience through the protagonist’s lifelong search for meaningful identity. Next Chapter (formerly Creativia Publishing), 2020.
Sue’s current project, working title: Twenty-eight Days, first in The Doorkeeper series, is set in Southern Australia in 2100. It deals with overpopulation and extended life expectancy in an increasingly climate-challenged world and the inhumane solutions adopted by a government determined to rid Australia of unproductive citizens.
Passionate about peace and social justice issues, Sue’s goal as a fiction writer is to continue writing novels that address topics such as climate change, the effects of war, the treatment of refugees, feminism and racism. Sue intends to keep on writing for as long as possible, believing the extensive life experiences of older writers can be employed to engage readers of all ages.
Follow Sue Parritt on Facebook, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit www.sueparritt.com, Buy A Question of Country
About the book
On Christmas Eve 1969, a letter from Australia House, London, brings welcome news for newly-weds Anna and Joseph Fletcher.
Young and idealistic, Anna falls passionately in love with their adopted land. Seven months later, an unexpected event causes their life to take a stressful turn.Years pass, and Anna retreats to a fictional world she has created. But when a different challenge presents itself, does she have the courage to take the risk… or will she take refuge in fantasy?
Anna and Joseph are on the edge of a precipice – a new life. They decide to leave their families behind and carve out a life for themselves in Australia. It means possibly never seeing their families again, because it’s expensive and a long way to travel, but the couple is looking forward to building a life without interference from anyone else.
That in itself is sort of naive because the one thing you need when you are alone on a different continent is people who help you to get both feet on the ground. People who have already been there and done that.
I think plenty of people assume, wrongly so by the way, that moving to another English speaking country on the other side of the globe is easy because the language is the same. It isn’t. The climate, the culture, the traditions and the whole way of life is different. It takes patience and adjustment.
It’s a migration novel – a story of self-discovery and perseverance.
I think the voice of the story was very distanced at times and lacked emotional connection, perhaps because it often had a semi or autobiographical air to it. As if it were being told in a factual way. I would have liked to have seen more emotional depth in the characters.
The isolation of Anna when it comes to experiencing new roles in her life is perhaps the most poignant element of the story. The pressure she puts on herself to succeed when it comes to being a mother and wife, thereby realising that the part of herself that craves something that belongs solely to herself will remain beyond reach unless she becomes determined to capture and hold on to it. Very much the story of many women who have gone before her and those who will come after her.
Buy A Question of Country at Amazon Uk. Publisher: Magnum Opus – A Next Chapter Imprint; pub date 30 Mar. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.