In a world where the sun has become a red giant, resulting in a baked Earth and struggles for the few humans who survive, James and Lexie and their two children face impossible odds; especially when fellow humans rob them and murderers and thieves abound.
Early in the story line, the vastly changed environment has affected the protagonists. Thirst and water have become overwhelming concerns in this dry world; but where most apocalyptic novels would focus on environmental changes, Parched takes a satisfyingly different turn in exploring how the world's changes have, in turn, transformed the protagonists' psyches.
How does one retain principles, ethics, and rules in a world gone wrong? What is there left to fight for when life itself becomes a hopeless struggle? As James finds reason for sanity and humanity in a world gone wild, Lexie finds herself stepping up to help the family, undertaking a road trip to find safety, fueled by the ongoing concerns over water.
Forced to leave their California stronghold, the family moves through a nightmare that has no end - and must redefine and recreate the notion of 'family' in the process of their discoveries.
Parched provides a satisfying focus on human interactions and changes. From the nuclear family structure to changing social and political relationships, its focus on the growing inhumanity of what is left of the world and how this affects individuals is one of the approaches that sets the novel apart from others. Add in a strong message about the power of nature and the devastating effects of climate change and you have a riveting story of not just survival, but environmental degradation.
As the story line progresses and the family faces many challenges, they, too must change and adapt - and that may mean an entirely different perspective and family structure.
Parched holds several surprises; not the least of which is its ultimate direction. Readers used to the typical linear progression of many apocalyptic reads will find something unique and special in Parched: highly recommended for any who want a powerful thriller with a strong environmental message.