The Sunlight Pilgrims: Book summary and reviews of The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan

The Sunlight Pilgrims

by Jenni Fagan

The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan X
The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. More fine work from this gifted Scottish writer." - Kirkus

"Fagan (The Panopticon) once more employs a heightened version of reality - in her debut, it was high-security juvenile detention; here, it's a second Ice Age - to set in motion a series of small, intimate narratives...Though not as gripping as her previous effort, Fagan has still constructed a vivid story." - Publishers Weekly

"[A] vivid and tender coming-of-age story set at the end of the world." - The Guardian (UK)

"Fagan's vivid, poetic-prose style injects the book with energy. She writes at the pace of thought, sentences like gunfire … She has a poet's affection for precision and image." - Financial Times (UK)

"[Fagan] explores some big ideas; namely the environment, gender and familial structure. She addresses these themes with an infectious, otherworldly hilarity, assembling an eccentric cast of characters who triumphantly flout convention." - Times Literary Supplement (UK)

"The Sunlight Pilgrims evokes a chillingly plausible near-future ... intimately imagined." - The Spectator (UK)

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More Information

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.

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