The Fishers of Paradise

CBC Radio's The Next Chapter with Sheila Rogers. CBC podcast

Treasa Levasseur on " What We Salvage" and "The Fishers of Paradise"

Columnist Treasa Levasseur on two fictional portraits of Hamilton Ontario in two different times.

 

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.

Rita Bailey, HPL: The Voice of Older Adults

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The Wind Seller

...with historical tie-ins to WWI, the Halifax Explosion, rum-running, and local historical details and settings between Five Islands and Halifax, NS – as well as a good story – this book was a winning combination for me.

Consumed By Ink, blog, April 2017

Preston has an adroit way with a plot; when she segues from on 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, May 2006 

A literary page-turner, churning with thrilling scenes...an exciting, adventurous novel with literary worth...seamlessly executed.

The Globe and Mail, May 2006

The Wind Seller is carefully crafted and contains splendid scenes 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 NovaScotian, August 2006

Tent of Blue

Preston's Dickensian touch with pathos and villainy is refreshingly unfashionable...masterfully evoked.

The Globe and Mail, September 2002

Preston...demonstrates a vivid imagination, the ability to summon up believable, sympathetic characters, and...a storyteller's sense of pace and timing.

The Hamilton Spectator, October 2002

...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 narrative strands, never allowing one to overshadow the other.
Robert Wiersema, Quill & Quire, 2002

Preston "gets" Vancouver

Towards the end (of the novel), there's a passage that hits the reader, if he or she is a longtime Vancouver resident, between the eyes....The long-vanquished landmark evokes the period perfectly.

The Vancouver Sun, March 2003

...the two narratives play off each other deftly, sounding echoes and casting reflections that deepen our understanding of mother and son and their relationship.

Peter Wilkins, Event,  Summer 2003

    © 2020 by Rachael Preston.