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The Family on Paradise Pier

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  66 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
A stunning historical saga set in the early decades of the twentieth century which follows the lives and loves of one extraordinary family.

We first meet 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
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 26th 2010 by Harper Perennial (first published May 1st 2006)
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Jul 23, 2008 Paul rated it really liked it
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
Mary Lou
Nov 15, 2015 Mary Lou rated it it was amazing
Shelves: irish
This is a book about the Goold Vershoyles- a privileged Anglo Irish family, from 1915 up the end of WWII. This golden life changes as the children grow up and their futures are influenced and family ties ultimately destroyed by the changes in Ireland and the world at that very unsettled time.
It took Dermot Bolger a long time, it seems, to make this chronicle what he wanted it to be and the result is stunning .It tells of the colourful and unusual life of Eva, the second daughter, alternating wit
Jul 09, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 26, 2016 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
This was my second attempt at this book. The first time I did not get through the prologue which I found confusing. This time I found it equally so as it presents short episodes from the lives of the characters set towards the end of the chronological book. However I bravely kept going and was glad I did as the story is absolutely fascinating and all the more so since the epilogue explained that this is based upon a true story. There is a great deal of history, not just concerning the anglo iris ...more
Jun 11, 2015 Helen rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful saga . It tells the story of a privileged family in Ireland and how its members were affected by war . It vividly describes the influence of communism in Russia ,the Spanish revolution and the injustice and fate of Brendan . It portrays Art who rebelled against his status and lived for promoting communism . The main protagonist Eva married to Freddie was very well portrayed .
Great research was done in the writing of this very informative historical novel
Mary Crawford
Apr 07, 2015 Mary Crawford rated it really liked it
This Anglo-Irish Protestant family saga covers the time line of the First World War up to the end of the Second World War. The family live in Donegal near Killybegs and Bolger describes the countryside and the people, both Catholic and Protestant, in an engaging manner. He widens the political focus from the internal to the world stage of communism in Russia, the Spanish Civil War and how Ireland maintained neutrality. The book follows members of the family as they move away and follow their own ...more
Philip Casey
May 29, 2014 Philip Casey rated it it was amazing
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.
Claire Chat de bibliothèques
Nov 21, 2015 Claire Chat de bibliothèques rated it really liked it
Une très agréable lecture, passionnante et avec des personnages attachants !

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
Jul 28, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 17, 2015 Robyn333 rated it liked it
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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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