The Family on Paradise Pier

Dermot Bolger

A stunning fictionalised portrait of a truly fascinating family, and an intimate view of a century of Irish history.

Starting in the tranquil idyll of a Donegal village in 1915, ‘The Family on Paradise Pier’ follows the extraordinary journeys of one Irish family through the War of Independence, the General Strike in Britain, the dangerous streets of 1930s Moscow, the Spanish Civil War and on to Soviet gulags, Irish internment camps and London during the Blitz. The Goold Verschoyle children are born into a respected free–thinking Protestant family in a manor house alive with laughter, debate and fascinating guests. But the world of picnics and childish infatuations is soon under threat as political changes within Ireland and the wider world encroach upon their private paradise.

Bolger superbly recreates a family in flux, driven by idealism, racked by argument and united by love and the vivid memories of childhood. ‘The Family of Paradise Pier’ shows Bolger at the height of his powers as a master storyteller. It is a spellbinding and magnificent achievement.

Reviews of The Family on Paradise Pier

    • ‘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, sometimes infuriated lover. Certainly, no understanding of Ireland’s capital at the close of the 20th-century is complete without an acquaintance with his magnificent writing.’ Joseph O’Connor
    • ‘Joyce, O’Flaherty, Brian Moore, a fistful of O’Briens, this is a succulent Who’s Who of Irish writing, and Dermot Bolger is of the same ilk. An exceptional literary gift.’ Independent
    • ‘Bolger’s writing is so strong, so exact, so much the right colour for each moment. Bare and passionate.’ Financial Times
    • ‘A strong contender for the crown of Ireland’s finest novelist.’ Daily Mail
    • ‘Bolger is a lively writer. He is a bold storyteller and this bold endeavour, while flawed, is certainly never boring.’ Lucy Atkins, Sunday Times
    • ‘Bolger has never written better. His has never been an imagination that works well in a vacuum, but the richness of Sheila Fitzgerald’s experience and the obvious warmth that developed between them adds a special dimension to this remarkable book.’ Scottish Sunday Herald