by Kit Darling

At our November meeting we discussed The Fishers of Paradise by Rachael Preston. Set in the boat house community on the shores of Cootes Paradise, it is anything but a paradise for Egypt Fisher. In the 1930s, Thomas McQuesten leads an initiative by Hamilton’s City Beautiful movement to build a new bridge through the community, forcing the removal or demolition of many of the homes.  While we may be familiar with McQuesten’s role in the creation of the Rock Garden and the High Level bridge among many other initiatives, the impact on peoples lives is an aspect of his work that has been given little attention. The group had a lively discussion about this book, including some debate about whether the female characters were in control of their own destinies or whether events were the result of circumstance. Well researched, the novel presents the history of our city against the drama of the lives affected. Well worth a read.

For more titles like this, visit the Bookmobile at Bennetto Recreation Centre on Tuesday from 2:30 to 4:30 and Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00.

And here are recommended reads from our members.

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon (fiction)
Was the entire Russian imperial family murdered in 1918 or did Anastasia survive?
A well-crafted, eloquent, and suspenseful novel that explores this great 20th century mystery.
Are we who we say we are, or who others believe we are?
A good read filled with well-developed characters.
Paige Turner

Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward (non-fiction)

While this book is non-fiction, based on hundreds of hours of interviews with first-hand witnesses and participants, it could be the script for a TV drama. For example, Trump rages about the trade deal with South Korea. He is told that it is more than a trade deal, it provides US access to intel on North Korea and most importantly, a 7 second warning in the event that the North Koreans launch a nuclear missile aimed at the U.S. compared to a 15-minute warning if they have to rely on the system based in Alaska. Trump insisted and Kushner drafted a letter to South Korea terminating the agreement. Staff found the letter on Trump’s desk, removed it and he never noticed. And this is just one instance of staff attempting to divert or prevent decisions detrimental to national security and the economy. An eye-opening read.

Kit Darling