In 1930s Hamilton, the boathouse community of Cootes Paradise is under siege: the squatters' shacks that line the shores of Dundas Marsh stand in the way of ambitious plans to make the city beautiful. Egypt Fisher and her mother are struggling to keep their lives together in the absence of her father, a con man neither of them has seen for six years. Into this mix walks a handsome drifter and the family falls under his spell, until Egypt's father unexpectedly returns. Unhinged by jealousy and a harrowing brush with the local mafia, he reveals a family secret that sets Egypt's world off-kilter and poisons her relationship with her mother. When Egypt tries to turn the situation to her own advantage, her lies set in motion a series of events with devastating consequences.
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, 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.
"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. " - HPL The Voice of Older Adults Blog
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