Blog Tour: 28 Days, Sue Parritt

Book Review: 28 Days, The Reluctant Doorkeeper Book 1, Sue Parritt

28 days

Book Review: 28 Days, The Reluctant Doorkeeper Book 1, Sue Parritt

Blog Tour August 30, 2021


Emma Cartwright did not expect to find herself in this situation. At 70 years old, she should be preparing for the last 10 years of her career, since Australia has mandatory employment until a person turns 80. Instead, she has been let go and under the law has to find a new job. She has 28 days to do so. At the end of the 28 days, she must either report to the government to assignment in whatever job they have available (even if she is completely unsuited for it physically or temperamentally) or volunteer for euthanasia. The latter is not completely unattractive — her husband died some years ago and she is lonely — but her son is only 19 and in college and he still needs her.


Aging is a bit different in 2100 than it is today. At least in Australia.


Australia has been under draconian laws for decades. Climate change has crushed the agricultural breadbasket of the country. Rather than leading to a population decrease in the country, instead the continent was swamped by refugees from islands and countries beset by rising sea levels. Finally a reactionary government swept into power, cutting the country off from all immigration and most other connections with the outside world and instituting the mandatory work laws for all residents.


Emma Cartwright spent most of her adult life under this regime, and she has managed to get along. However, with 28 days left, she cannot afford to lose any time in finding that new job. She especially cannot afford for the employment computer to crash nationwide. Particularly if it takes days for the computer to be restored. Especially if the government refuses to extend the deadline despite the problem.


In 28 Days, author Sue Parritt has introduced us to a world that she plans to explore further in the Reluctant Doorkeeper trilogy. There are many things I love about this book. The characters, especially Emma, are very engaging. There is “Uncle” Charlie, an older man who runs a vegetable stand in the open air market–and does other things as well. Emma’s son, who gets arrested for leading a protest–except he was not the leader. A secret group meeting to oppose the government.


Emma herself, though, is a delight. As I get older (I am 55 at this writing), I really appreciate the presence of older characters in books. Older, as in anyone older than I! Emma is 70, but is in very good health and very active in life. She is looking for a job, caring for her son, engaging in a bit of rebellion, and finding a new man. Her world may be dark and dystopian, but her energies are focused on living the best life that she can.


Parritt has seized upon something that many writers of darker fiction miss. The world may suck, but life is what you make of it. Even in the darkest of days, babies are born, children play, people fall in love, jokes are told, friendships are formed, hope is present. Emma does not view her world with any sort of Pollyanna rose-colored glasses. She knows it is messed up. She knows it is broken. She knows that her power to influence things is limited. But she also knows that her son needs her, that “Uncle” Charlie looks out for her, and that despite difficult circumstances there is living still to be done. The world may be dark, but she does not need to let the dark put out her own light.


Sue Parritt
Sue Parritt, author

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Our thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours for our copy of this book, given in exchange for our review. The opinions here are solely those of Scintilla. For other perspectives, check out the other bloggers on this tour.


28 days

Book Review: 28 Days, The Reluctant Doorkeeper Book 1, Sue Parritt

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