The authors have explored the humanity of their main characters in depth, against the breath-taking but unforgiving background of the Utah landscape, and taken their readers right along with them.
Miriam Murcutt and Richard Starks have aptly titled their fictitious town in the U.S. because the central theme of the book set 'In a Town Called Paradox' is one of conflict. The authors have explored the humanity of their main characters in depth, against the breath-taking but unforgiving background of the Utah landscape, and taken their readers right along with them. The story is about the relationship between two young people, Corin and Ark, who are both torn between love and resentment towards their respective parents for what they see as their betrayal and abandonment at an early age. But this is not simply a story in which a couple find redemption in their love for each other, it touches upon so many other conflicts that were rife in the 50s, when the book is set, and are still present today. We, the readers, are invited to consider the paradox of one person's 'truth' being another's 'fiction', just as in the movies, which feature prominently. Important issues are raised and examined...religious faith and the possibility of an afterlife, race discrimination, protection of the environment, sexual harassment and rape, homophobia, police corruption and euthanasia to name but several. This book will grab your attention from page one and will possibly have you re-thinking your stance on some of these issues but as the authors say, through one of their characters, 'We live in a non-deterministic world - one in which there are no certainties, only probabilities' but I hope that the probability here will be that you will read and thoroughly enjoy this book, as I did.
Drena Irish, A LoveReading Ambassador
“I wasn’t looking for Marilyn Monroe when I bumped into her, even though I knew she was in town filming River of No Return…”
So begins In A Town Called Paradox – historical fiction that’s set in Utah in the 1950s, when the Big Five Hollywood studios were lured to that state by the fiery red-rock scenery that formed the perfect backdrop to the blockbuster movies they planned to film.
Corin Dunbar – banished to live with her aunt Jessie, an obsessively religious spinster who runs a failing cattle ranch near Paradox – hates her new life, until the arrival of Hollywood turns the rural backwater into a playground for glamorous stars. Seduced by the glitz of the movies, Corin finds work with the studios, but after a brush with the casting couch, channels her growing ambition into saving the ranch—the jewel of the Dunbar family for three generations.
When Corin falls for Ark Stevenson – a charismatic stranger who was raised by missionaries in the Amazon jungle (then drawn to Paradox by his fascination with the Westerns that are filmed there) – her future seems bright. That’s not the outlook facing Yiska Begay, a Navajo Indian and convicted murderer who’s on the run near Paradox. These very different lives unexpectedly collide when a tragic accident wrecks Corin’s dreams and forces her to make an agonizing decision that changes the course of her life.
Told mainly by Corin—now a middle-aged woman haunted by this watershed moment—In A Town Called Paradox is a compelling read that redefines the meaning of love, as it asks the question: If each of us has a life story, then who decides how it unfolds – and how it should end?
|Publication date:||19th October 2020|
|Author:||Miriam Murcutt and Richard Starks|
|Primary Genre||Historical fiction|
Closing date: 12/12/2021
“This is so well done that I cannot recommend it too much. Excellent Read.” – Polly Krize, Amazon, Goodreads and NetGalley reviewer. Five Stars.
“In A Town Called Paradox is excellent, compelling, full of hope and dilemma, love, nature and movie glam. The characters are outstanding and the tale wonderful. – Keren Krinick, NetGalley, Goodreads and Amazon reviewer. Five Stars.
“I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down” – Annette Herbst (Librarian) NetGalley, Amazon and Goodreads reviewer. Five Stars.
“From the first page, the characters and their story take hold of you. In A Town Called Paradox is a beautifully crafted novel that has the propulsive energy of a bestseller.” – Chris Fortunato, former editor at Berkley Books, Bantam Books and Crown. Five Stars.
“This beautifully written novel is full of fantastic characters as well as beautiful descriptions of the Utah desert. I hated to see it end and to say goodbye to characters that I'd come to know so well.” – Sue Roberts, Amazon Vine Reviewer. Five Stars.
“Corin’s story will make you laugh, cry and cheer. You will read about things you may not know… I did not want this story to end.” – Lorene Scheidt, Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley reviewer. Five Stars.
“It’s been a while since I was so engrossed as I was in this book. It’s different than anything I have read in a while...I loved the characters and I really felt like the authors brought them to life. I laughed a little, teared up, and learned a little bit about how Western movies were made. – Laurie Tell, Goodreads and NetGalley reviewer. Five Stars.
“There is much to think about here. There is racism, sexism, free will, human rights, a broad range and depth of human emotions, the organization of the cosmos.. Well written with vivid descriptive language and character development.” – Vickie Kelber, reviewer on Library Thing, Goodreads, and Amazon. Five Stars.
“This is a story of struggle, hardship, relationships, ranching, and the glamour of Hollywood… There are so many rich strands and such diverse characters…The book is well researched, well written and I loved it. It grabbed me and didn’t let go. I wholeheartedly recommend it.” – Barbara Watt, NetGalley reviewer. Five Stars.
“Behind the glamour of the Hollywood studios lies the bitter truth about the struggles, prejudices, racism and sexism that exist in the town … A very well-written, emotional and compelling book. I loved reading it and would like to see this made into a movie.” – Tahera Vejlani, NetGalley and Goodreads reviewer. Five Stars.
Miriam Murcutt is a former journalist and editor with wide experience in the publishing industry. She has an MA in English Literature and now works full-time as a writer. She is the author of five books published in seven countries. She is also a volunteer interviewer for a Carnegie Library oral history archive and a member of the Authors Guild and the Independent Book Publishers Association. Miriam’s narrative non-fiction books include: Lost in Tibet (The Lyons Press); Along the River that Flows Uphill – from the Orinoco to the Amazon (Haus Publishing); A Room with a Pew – ...More About Miriam Murcutt and Richard Starks