Release date: May 1, 2013
Publisher: NeWest Press
Thank you to NeWest Press for sending me an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.
While working to restore an historic theatre in a seedy part of the city, a graduate student named Anthea searches to find her best friend, lost to the rhetoric of an itinerant preacher and street mystic. Almost a century earlier, Liam, a tenth-rate tenor, visits the same theatre while eking out a career on the dying Vaudeville circuits of the day. In both eras, an apocalyptic strain of utopian mysticism threatens their existence: Anthea contends with a nascent New Age movement in the heart of the city while Liam encounters a radical theosophical commune in the deep country along the coast of British Columbia, who appear to be building … something.
The Paradise Engine unfolds across a colourful backdrop of labour organizers, immaculately-attired cultists, ambitious socialites, teenage lovers, basement offices and innumerable coffee shops.
If you like stories with a clear resolution, this book may frustrate you. This one’s all about the build up, with multiple perspectives weaving in and out and around each other and almost converging. That’s not a criticism; it’s what makes the book brilliant. The Paradise Engine takes place in a world with two possibilities: either everything in life is a coincidence, or nothing is. And both possibilities are terrifying. Continue reading