The Fishers of Paradise
356 pages | ISBN 978-1-928088-16-5
**Winner of the Kerry Schooley Award 2013**
A new edition of the winner of the Hamilton Arts Council's Kerry Schooley Award
The boathouse community along the shores of Dundas Marsh has come under siege and young Egypt Fisher is faced with the prospect of losing her home. Members of Hamilton’s City Beautiful Movement have planned a new bridge through their neighbourhood and the boathouses are being destroyed, their owners relocated. Soon, however, it’s clear that politicians and gentrification aren’t the only threats to Egypt’s paradise. At first Egypt is thrilled to have her family reunited when her father, Ray, suddenly returns after a mysterious six-year absence. But Ray Fisher has demons, and his wife, Laura, has secrets. Together, they turn the Fisher house into an emotional tinderbox, and when handsome Matt Oakes drifts into town, he could be just the spark to ignite it.
“The landscape alone would have won me over, but it’s the story that makes Rachael Preston’s 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.” – John Terpstra, author of The Boys, Or, Waiting for the Electrician’s Daughter
"Book Review: The Fishers of Paradise" (Rita Bailey, HPL The Voice of Older Adults Blog, 02/02/2017)
"Fans of Hamilton history will love the setting: inside the shacks that cling to the shores of Cootes Paradise, behind the stalls at the Hamilton Market and down gritty lane-ways off Barton Street […] But it’s the characters that bring this landscape to life; characters whose motivations and needs are as multi-layered and murky as the swamp that gives the book its name."
"Treasa Levasseur on What We Salvage and The Fishers of Paradise" (Treasa Levasseur, The Next Chapter, 23/01/2017)
Listen to Treasa Levasseur discuss Rachael Preston's The Fishers of Paradise and David Baillie's What We Salvage in an eleven-minute clip from The Next Chapter.
About the Author
Rachael Preston is the author of three novels, Tent of Blue, The Wind Seller and The Fishers of Paradise, which won the 2013 Kerry Schooley Award, which is given to the book that best captures the spirit of the city of Hamilton. She has taught creative writing in Ontario colleges and universities. For two years she chaired gritLIT: Hamilton's Writers' Festival. In 2001 she was nominated for the Journey Prize and in 2006 she won the City of Hamilton Arts Award for her contribution to the arts. Rachael now lives in Nanaimo, BC.