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The Family on Paradise Pier

The Family on Paradise Pier

Author(s): Dermot Bolger

Location(s): England, Russia, Spain

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical

Era(s): 20th Century



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. But as they grow older, changes within Ireland and the wider world encroach upon the family’s private paradise.

Turbulent times – the Irish war of independence, the Spanish Civil War, and World War II – are woven into the tapestry upon which this magical story is spun. Events in Spain, Russia and London draw the children in different directions: one travels to Moscow to witness Communism at first had: another runs away to England to take part in the General Strike and then heads off to the Civil War in Spain: another follows the more conventional route of marriage and family.

Based upon the extraordinary lives of a real-life Anglo-Irish family, Bolger’s novel superbly recreates a family in flux, driven by idealism, wracked by argument and united by love and the vivid memories of childhood. ‘The Family on Paradise Pier’ shows Bolger at the height of his powers as a master storyteller. A spellbinding and magnificent achievement.

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Lead Review

‘Dermot Bolger’s vision is ragingly incandescent. He has been described as Dublin’s Pasolini, and truly his work exerts a cinematic grip. Bolger is to contemporary Dublin what Dickens was to Victorian London: archivist, reporter,...

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021