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The Fishers of Paradise Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Length: 316 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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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: 883 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: East Point Publishing (August 19, 2012)
  • Publication Date: August 19, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00904W4VU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,059,508 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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From the opening scene, you will be hooked. Then the fierce plot moves forward. Characters facing difficult lives so constantly they adapt and treat their hardship as normalcy. Add two new figures into the mix: the stranger, and the not-so-lovable absent husband, returned.
Choices, choices of evil, choices of passion, and choices of sacrifice and love. Choices of selfishness. This is an unforgettable story. It will haunt and inform your own life.
Rachael Preston writes with a powerful sense of immediacy. You will feel as if you have lived in the conditions and homes and hearts of her characters. You will share their uncertainties, hopes, and fears. There is a little joy hidden in the corners of this story as well, some hope for the human condition and the future of the main characters.
This is a terrific read. Highly recommended.
Yes, it is a strong as her two earlier novels. Maybe more powerful. Read this book.
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