Children of Paradise (Paperback)Fred D'Aguiar (author)
In the opening pages of this novel, an accident brings a young girl to the attention of the Preacher, the all-powerful leader of a religious cult secluded in the jungle. Trina has only dim memories of the life she lived with her mother before they joined the community and the closed, close society is all she knows. When she is singled out for special favour, it becomes clear that the gaze of the Preacher can be a dangerous thing. As the Preacher's behaviour and the demands he places on his followers become more extreme, Trina's mother begins to question her faith in the charismatic but fatally flawed leader and to dream of an escape from his control.
In this powerful re-imagining of the infamous Jonestown tragedy, D'Aguiar writes with the lyrical intensity of a poet, examining the motivations and obsessions that lead to religious fanaticism. This is a novel about the betrayal of faith and of innocence, a story about love, devotion and mania that is a brave attempt to understand the reasoning of people who would, in the end, kill their own children in the prelude to a mass suicide that shocked the world. Although history tells us that the ending of this story can never be anything other than a tragedy, D'Aguiar's compassion, and his ability to draw the reader into the intimate and terrible reality of lives lived at the whim of a corrupt and dangerous cult leader, ensure that in the end this is a story of hope.
Publisher: Granta Books
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 272 g
Dimensions: 199 x 129 x 24 mm
An amazing novel about the Jonestown massacre, told in part from the point of view of a gorilla - Edwidge Danticat
Written with a poet's delicacy - John Sutherland, The Times
[It] works as both a warning from history and a tale of slowly-building but inexorable tension - Alastair Mabbott, Herald
His poetic style of writing lends itself perfectly to painting a picture of what the cult members hoped would be an ideal society, but which rapidly took a sinister turn - Katie Archer, Irish Examiner
[I was] fully immersed in the story of a leader losing his mind, and of a woman and her daughter trying to flee his darkening domain - Simon Baker, Spectator
Lyrical and haunting - Metro
[A] fine novel... written with a poet's delicacy - The Times
Every aspect of the setting is beautifully realised... Poignant - Jane Housham, Guardian
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