“The Sunlight Pilgrims” Jenni Fagan





The stunning new novel from the highly-acclaimed author of The Panopticon

It’s November of 2020, and the world is freezing over. Each day colder than the last. There’s snow in Israel, the Thames is overflowing, and an iceberg separated from the Fjords in Norway is expected to drift just off the coast of Scotland. As ice water melts into the Atlantic, frenzied London residents evacuate by the thousands for warmer temperatures down south. But not Dylan. Grieving and ready to build life anew, he heads north to bury his mother’s and grandmother’s ashes on the Scottish islands where they once lived.

Hundreds of miles away, twelve-year-old Estella and her survivalist mother, Constance, scrape by in the snowy, mountainous Highlands, preparing for a record-breaking winter. Living out of a caravan, they spend their days digging through landfills, searching for anything with restorative and trading value. When Dylan arrives in their caravan park in the middle of the night, life changes course for Estella and Constance. Though the weather worsens, his presence brings a new light to daily life, and when the ultimate disaster finally strikes, they’ll all be ready.

Written in incandescent, dazzling prose, The Sunlight Pilgrims is a visionary story of courage and resilience in the midst of nature’s most violent hour; by turns an homage to the portentous beauty of our natural world, and to just how strong we can be, if the will and the hope is there, to survive its worst.



JENNI FAGAN was born in Scotland. She attended Greenwich University and won a scholarship to the Royal Holloway MFA. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she was shortlisted for the Dublin Impac, The James Tait Black, and was named one of Granta‘s Best of Young British Novelists.



At first, I was quite excited about getting to read this book, I related the synopsis to that of the Day After Tomorrow movie. You know, frozen wasteland, trying to survive kind of thing. Great start to what I thought would be a great book. Unfortunately, I became disinterested very quickly. There are several good things about this book and there are a few bad things that are worth mentioning. It really wasn’t a book for me and was honestly hard for me to get through.

From the very beginning we are introduced to words that I have no idea what the hell they mean or how they tie into the story.It sounded really interesting, but even the prologue threw me for a loop. There were words such as, Penitentes, Blin drift, Owerblaw, Skirlie, Eighre, Haar-frost. Seriously!?!? Who wants to read a book that starts out at the very beginning with words that make me think I’m an idiot. I don’t have time to grab a dictionary for these words (but really would they even be in the dictionary???) All of these just in the prologue! I am not sure if this is a book in a series, if it is that would hopefully make more sense. I had a really hard time connecting to any of the characters, there were several funny parts but not enough to really keep my interest. I had a really hard time finishing this book.


There are a few things that got me through the book, her use of descriptive words are pretty awesome. I felt like I was in that frozen wasteland along with that threesome band of misfits. The way that she portrays Stella/Cael, was interesting. This is the first book that I have ever read that included someone going through the experiences of being trans-gendered. It was real and believable and I commend the author for doing a good job! They are all going through a lot, the will to survive and all that jazz. I commend the author for being able to set the scene to an extent of feeling like I am there! Overall a decent book, not one that I will read again or recommend.






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