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The Family on Paradise Pier
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The Family on Paradise Pier

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Set in the early decades of the 20th century, this stunning historical sagafollows the lives and loves of one extraordinary family, beginning with the Goold Verschoyle children in 1915. Though there is a war going on in the world outside, they seem hardly touched by it—midnight swims, flower fairies, and regatta parties form the backdrop to their enchanted childhood. But a ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by HarperCollins UK
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Fascinating fictional account of the life and times of the Anglo-Protestant Goold Verschoyle family, whose idyllic life in Donegal becomes shattered by World War I, the Irish revolution and Civil War, as well as long-simmering sibling rivalry and family guilt about its relative wealth amidst poverty. Two of the three brothers turn to Communism while their sister -- the sheltered, romantic Eva -- learns to accommodate the realities and compromises of life without surrendering herself to them. Eve ...more
A fascinating novel based on the story of the family who was involved in founding the Irish Communist Party. Two of the sons are obsessed with the Soviet Union, and move there. Bolger met the sister of this family when she was in her 90's and she told him stories about her family which became this novel.
Philip Casey
One of the best, if not the best novel of Ireland after Independence. Set in Ireland, Civil war Spain and Stalinist Russia, it's a while since I read it but it has stayed with me as if I'd read it yesterday. I loved it.
Based on the real-life Goold Verschoyle family from Dunkineely in southwest Donegal, this book starts off in 1915, a turbulent time in Irish history, and continues through to the end of WW2. It follows the fortunes of this wealthy Protestant family in a changing Ireland, with one son devoting his life to the service of communist Russia. I loved recognising all the places and landmarks of south Donegal (and reading about a railway line sadly long gone), but most of all I loved the fascinating sto ...more
Covers a lot of ground and history of Ireland at the turn of the century, the Russian Revolution, Irish Socialism, and the fall of an aristocratic Irish family. Very engaging characters. Well written.
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Dermot Bolger is an Irish novelist, playwright and poet born in Finglas, a suburb of Dublin.

His work is often concerned with the articulation of the experiences of working-class characters who, for various reasons, feel alienated from society. Bolger questions the relevance of traditional nationalist concepts of Irishness, arguing for a more plural and inclusive society.

In the late 1970s Bolger se
More about Dermot Bolger...
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