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The Fishers of Paradise [Kindle Edition]

Rachael Preston
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"unputdownable!" Susie Moloney, author of The Thirteen

As Egypt Fisher learns, there's a power to be mined in keeping secrets, and lies quickly take on a life of their own.

1930. The boathouse community of Cootes Paradise is under siege. The squatters' shacks that line the shores of Dundas Marsh stand in the way of an ambitious politician's "City Beautiful" plans. When a handsome drifter settles there, Egypt Fisher and her mother both fall under his spell. No one expects Egypt's gambling con-man father to return after a mysterious six-year absence. But he does and he's furious. Unhinged by jealousy and a harrowing brush with the local mafia at a cockfight, he reveals a family secret that sets Egypt's world off-kilter and poisons her relationship with her mother. When Egypt tries to turn the situation to her own advantage, her lies set in motion a series of events with devastating consequences.

The Fishers of Paradise is a story about choices and consequences, and a family pushed to the edge. In striving to cope with the emotional fallout from decisions made in the past, as well as all that fate and circumstance level at them, the Fishers discover that hope and love can thrive and families can reinvent themselves.

Praise for The Wind Seller:
"The novel is a literary page-turner, churning with thrilling scenes...seamlessly constructed."
-- The Globe & Mail

"The Wind Seller is carefully crafted and contains splendid descriptions of the Fundy coast and its communities...Ms. Preston is deft at creating a number of simultaneous plots and intricately detailed characters, smoothly moving her story to its completion without abandoning any of them along the way."
-- The Chronicle Herald

"a rollicking saga that's lusty and satisfying. . . .Preston has an adroit way with a plot; when she segues from one character's storyline to another, in the narrative's present day or in flashback, it is seamless. Her characters are believable, resilient and quirky, and her prose is thrilling."
-- The Hamilton Spectator

"A romance, a mystery, an intimate social drama, The Wind Seller is brimming with visceral dangers and lusts."
-- Andrew Pyper, author of The Wildfire Season and The Demonologist

Praise for Tent of Blue:

"Tent of Blue is an ambitious debut novel...Preston's rich and vivid evocation of the two main characters and their vastly differing milieus is crucial to the novel's themes: Yvonne and Anton's relationships with their mothers (not to mention their absent fathers) mirror one another, while the backstage sequences of Yvonne's music-hall past provide a fascinating counterpoint to Anton's furtive adolescent longings. Preston shifts easily between the two narrative strands, never allowing one to overshadow the other."
-- Quill & Quire

The story of a boy and his mother striving to create themselves as they learn to live heroically, despite the scathing violence of love. A novel that lingers long after the final page.
--Shauna Singh Baldwin, author of What the Body Remembers

Editorial Reviews


The landscape alone would have won me over, but it's the story that makes Rachael Preston's new novel truly irresistible. Set in the last, drawn-out days of the boathouse community of Cootes Paradise in Hamilton in the 1930s, the book dives to the muddy bottom of uncertainty and insecurity; to the violations to body and soul. Its real setting, though, is in the lives it selects from out of that small, intertwined population, in their rising and falling, sinking or swimming. These are lives generally more than a few degrees short of, or beyond perfection--which makes them all the more riveting. With her limber and direct prose Preston follows these evasive spirits along the trails they make through the demolitions, as they search for something that looks like home. 
 --John Terpstra, author of The Boys, Or, Waiting for the Electrician's Daughter

About the Author

<i>The Fishers of Paradise</i> is Rachael Preston's third novel. She is the author of critically acclaimed <i>Tent of Blue</i> and <i>The Wind Seller</i>. Originally from Yorkshire, she now lives in British Columbia, Canada.

Product Details

  • File Size: 601 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: East Point Publishing (August 19, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00904W4VU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #600,092 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Didn't want it to end ... October 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Rachael Preston's new book is all about choices--particularly the choices we make rashly--and then the long hard road of living with them.

The first domino falls way back in the day, when Laura Fisher makes her first pivotal choice. When the story begins, she and her two children are living with the consequences of that choice, and in this case there is no 'for better or for worse,' it's all been for worse. There are few pleasures in Laura Fisher's life, and just when there might be a chance for her to start over, to get a little happiness, the dreadful choice from the past shows up on her doorstep in the form of Ray Fisher, Laura's sometimes husband. He worms his way into the heart of his nearly-grown daughter, starved as she is for the male attention, and falls himself, surprisingly, for the son he's never met. It's Laura he can't melt, a result of the choices that he's made.

There are no real bad guys in The Fishers of Paradise. Even Ray Fisher, who is easy to hate in the beginning, manages to make us understand him, and eventually, makes us wish things had been different for him. He, however, like all of the characters in this wonderful novel, have made their choices long before, and the only hope left is that the next generation makes better choices. Even still, when the cycle is finally broken for the children, it's heart-breaking.

This is a wonderful, beautifully written book. Rachael Preston is an amazing writer. This is a story that utterly absolutely OWNED me on every page. It's must read.

I can't wait until she writes another.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting family story! October 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
By now, you guys probably know that I like dysfunctional family stories. "The Fishers of Paradise" definitely falls firmly in the dysfunctional family camp. The Fishers are a mess. Laura, the mother, is just trying to scrape by. Her husband, Ray, is totally an absentee father. He's also very mean and controlling. Egypt, the daughter, is almost grown and is only beginning to realize the secrets that her family has hidden from her. Aiden is much younger and isn't ready to make sense of everything everyone in his family is or is not doing.

The family lives in a small Canadian town in the 1930s where everyone is sort of struggling in their own ways. Everyone in their town lives in houseboats, which I thought was really cool. I had never heard of Cootes Paradise before I read this book but it seems like a really interesting place. I always enjoy armchair traveling.

There wasn't really any one character that I liked in the book, except for maybe Aiden. Laura has made some really bad choices in her life and doesn't seem to learn that it's not too late for her to do things differently to better support her children. I found myself getting very frustrated at her. I really wanted her to change and start making some more mature decisions instead of running away. Ray just did not do anything for me. Again, he never really wised up and matured. Egypt seemed a lot younger than she was supposed to be in the book. I really wish that we could have seen her acting a little more like the almost adult she is supposed to be! I think that I would have liked her character a little bit better then!

This book was written in the third person, present tense point of view, which made for a very interesting reading experience for me. I think this can be a really hard point of view to write in.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fishers of Paradise August 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Reading "The Fishers of Paradise" I enjoyed the complexity of interpersonal relations in the story which allowed me to have some sympathy for the characters even the bad guys. There is mystery and drama mixed in with social history. I became immersed in the plot, went to bed late and got up early so I could read undisturbed. The fridge didn't get cleaned on the day it was suppose to. No other novel has held my attention so well this summer. The setting in a time and place both familiar and unknown to me was intriguing. I thought I knew about the era between the wars from TV documentaries but this story is a close up of how life was in a particular place at that time. I know of Cootes Paradise, well I drive by it as I pass through Hamilton on my way to South Western Ontario, I know it from the QEW, but I never knew about its history. This novel actually made Hamilton interesting. It was as if I could feel the textures of the time. Characters weave in and out of each others lives. It is not a happily ever after sort of story with all the ends nicely knotted and tied tightly but a hopeful story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth your time March 14, 2013
By Dina G.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an amazingly crafted book. The characters are believable, and I found myself being alternately sympathetic toward and angry at most of them. In other words, the story was so good it took me right away into suspended reality. The author is a master of description. She also manages the difficult job of shifting points of view, and does it seamlessly. I kept thinking all the way through: "Wow, this woman can WRITE!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! January 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Full of secrets, lies and deceit, this book is a page turner from start to finish. Moments so tense it had my heart racing, moments that made me smile, and moments so poignant I had tears in my eyes. I was totally absorbed in the characters' lives, they felt so real.

I was so taken with the story I had to find out more about the place in which it was set and the reality behind the fiction - a whole different place now to what it was then!

Beautifully and cleverly written - a must read!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Sad and horrible story.
This was a very depressing story with no good plot and an even worse ending. Riddled with typographical errors. Not worth wasting your time on.
Published 6 months ago by Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Personal Pick - Loved the Twists
Cover - It's symbolic and carries meaning to the story as a whole. Loved it.

Formatting / Appearance - There were no issues at all. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Quality Reads UK Book Club
4.0 out of 5 stars Dysfunctional Family That Makes A Good Read
The present tense took some getting used to but this does not reflect the author's writing style, I am just used to reading books in the past tense. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Ravina Andrea Kurian
2.0 out of 5 stars Psychological Study of A Dysfunctional Family
Meg's review sums up for me why you are likely to find people who love this book and people like me who can't get past the first few chapters: "By now, you guys probably know that... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Just An Ordinary Gal
3.0 out of 5 stars it's okay
I was engaged enough to finish it, but it didn't really draw me in. What I did find interesting were the notes about the historical events upon which it was based.
Published 22 months ago by M. Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars A page turner
Enjoyed the family tension and dynamics between grandparents and children and parents and children. Some sizzling scenes. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Kim Jensen
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, evocative book
The Fishers of Paradise is a wonderful read, driven by Rachael Preston's evocative writing. She draws a vivid picture, placing the reader inside a poor community in a tough town... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Scott Fraser
3.0 out of 5 stars the fishers of paradise
I found this to be a good read. The author did a good job with a not to interesting plot line. It was well written and factual but as i said the material was not very... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Vincent Zottola
2.0 out of 5 stars Could not get into this book
I read a chapter or two and it just wasn't me. I did not finish this book. It did seem to be well written though.
Published 24 months ago by Phyllis Muscolino
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it - waiting for more!
I've read Rachael's other 2 books and enjoyed them both. She has a distinct style of writing - it took me a bit to get the "rhythm" of the books. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Pat
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More About the Author

We moved a lot when I was a kid. Always in and around Bradford, Yorkshire, except for when we left the country for British Honduras by way of the United States. We lasted a month. By the time I followed my dad to Canada at sixteen, moving had become a habit. I've lived in four countries and forty-five residences. It's perhaps explains why place and a sense of belonging figure prominently in my work.

I am the author of three novels. My most recent, The Fishers of Paradise, chronicles a community under siege from politicians and moral do-gooders, the devastating consequences of family secrets and what happens when mother and daughter fall for the same man. Before that is The Wind Seller, which follows the arrival of a mysterious schooner in a small fishing village and the exotic female pirate aboard who stirs passions and trouble. My first novel, Tent of Blue, alternates between the dying days of English music halls and Vancouver in 1952 to tell the story of a boy and his mother struggling to escape the ties that bind them.

I have an M.A. in English Literature from Queen's University and spent 20 years teaching in post-secondary institutions, 11 of those as a creative writing instructor. Then I tired of listening to myself and packed it all in and dragged husband and dog across country to a small island off the B.C. coast. Currently I chop wood, try to grow vegetables in the lee of a mountain and sell my books over the bar at the Lighthouse Pub. And miss teaching.

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