28 Days by Sue Parritt is set in Melbourne in 2100, and is the first in a new dystopian series, The Reluctant Doorkeeper.

Thank you to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for sending me a free copy of 28 Days in return for an honest review.

28 Days follows Emma Cartwright, a 70 year old woman living in Melbourne in February 2100. She has been out of work for the past year and now has just 28 days to find work. Otherwise, she will be forced to report to the Productive Citizens Bureau and accept any vacancy, regardless of what it is. With just a couple of weeks to go, the Employment Positions Portal is hacked and the government refuses to extend her unemployment period. Angry, she joins the Citizens’ Voice group to add her support to a group trying to protest against the repressive laws.

28 Days is available on Amazon in hardback, paperback and eBook (this is an affiliate link). It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited. And don’t forget to add it to your Want to Read list on Goodreads.

My review

I read and reviewed A Question of Country by Sue Parritt last year and really enjoyed it, and I’m a big fan of dystopian fiction, so I was excited to read 28 Days. It’s also so refreshing to read a book with an older protagonist and a cast of older characters — it’s quite rare to read books that feature older characters.

Australia in 2100 is almost unrecognisable. We learn more about the world and its laws as the story progresses. Not only has climate change caused the sea to rise and many houses to fall into the sea, with people moving into the cities and apartment buildings. For example, parents are only allowed one child each, and apartments must have all bedrooms occupied (even if it has been purchased outright!). Plus, the retirement age is now 80 years old — with people then forced to do community work to receive their pension, or opt for ‘euthanasia’. Sue paints a terrifying reality that feels plausible, filled with detail. It is easy to see how it could happen, with some foreshadowing in our present day (and even mentions of the pandemic and COVID-19!).

The main character, Emma, is a really interesting character. She is incredibly strong, and I enjoyed reading her transformation from dutiful citizen to rebel. As this is the first in a trilogy, I expect that will change even more over the next few books in the series! I was rooting for her and Cal throughout the book, as well as her son Jack.

The story itself moves along at a good pace — I raced through the book, not wanting to put it down! The ending was very exciting, leaving lots of possibilities for the next book in the Reluctant Doorkeeper series. I also look forward to learning more about the society that Emma lives in, and how this dystopian world came to be.

Book blurb for 28 Days

Melbourne, February 2100. Emma Cartwright has 28 days left to find work, otherwise she must report to the Productive Citizens Bureau and accept any vacancy, regardless of location, pay or conditions.

Her situation becomes even more grave when the Employment Positions Portal is disabled and the government refuses to extend her unemployment period. At 70, Emma could opt for voluntary euthanasia, but she has her student son Jack to support.

After a chance meeting with the eccentric Cal Ritchie, founder of the clandestine group Citizens’ Voice and supporter of those fleeing repressive laws to live in bush camps, Emma is determined to escape her life of compliance.

When her son Jack is suddenly arrested, Emma finds herself running out of time and options, and has to take drastic measures. But can she save her son?

The author, Sue ParrittAbout the author, Sue Parritt

Originally from England, and now living on the Mornington Peninsula, south-east of Melbourne, Sue worked in university libraries until taking early retirement in 2008 to concentrate on writing novels. Creative writing has been a passion since her teenage years, with short stories, poetry and articles published in magazines and anthologies in Australia, the US and the UK.  To date, Sue has written nine 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. Along with Kaire, pilgrim and skyman, Sannah’s daughter, Pia continues her people’s fight for freedom. Odyssey Books, 2016. Commended in the FAW Christina Stead Award, 2016.

The Sky Lines Alliance: three groups join forces to overthrow the brutal Australian government. 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 Julia, aged 40, 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 Italian family. Creativia Publishing, 2019.

A Question of Country explores the migrant experience through the protagonist’s lifelong search for meaningful identity. Next Chapter, April 2020.

Sue’s current project, The Reluctant Doorkeeper Trilogy, set in Melbourne, 2100-2105, explores the problem of 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.

Book 1, 28 Days, sees Emma, aged 70, emerge from a life of compliance to one of civil disobedience when the Employment Positions Portal is disabled during the final 28 days of her Government Allocated Unemployment Period.

Book 2, Next Step, follows Emma’s first year as a Trainee Doorkeeper, her role to assign appropriate positions to unemployed citizens, and her unofficial work for political change.

Book 3 will deal with a citizens’ revolution, as the population learn the truth about the role of Fully-Trained Doorkeepers.

Passionate about social justice, Sue’s goal as a fiction writer is to continue creating intrepid characters prepared to risk their lives to effect positive change in a troubled world. She intends to write for as long as possible, believing the extensive life experiences of older writers can be employed to engage readers of all ages.

You can find out more about Sue on her website at sueparritt.com, or follow her on Facebook for all the latest updates.

About the blog tour

I was sent a free copy of 28 Days to review by Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources as part of a blog tour — you can view the full tour schedule below. Check out these amazing bloggers and Instagrammers for book reviews, guest posts and extra content!

The blog tour banner for 28 Days by Sue Parritt

28 Days is available on Amazon in hardback, paperback and eBook (this is an affiliate link). It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited. And don’t forget to add it to your Want to Read list on Goodreads.

The Amazon links used here are affiliate links — I will receive a small commission from Amazon for any purchases you make. Thank you for supporting my website!