Book - 2003 | First edition
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Baker & Taylor
Follows the epic human history of the city of Vancouver from the vantage points of coastal tribes who are driven out by treasure seekers, marooned Russian explorers, Scottish fur trappers, gold-hunting Chinese peasants, and penny-stock promoters. 25,000 first printing.


Vancouver is a startlingly beautiful city of dreams and desires. Its mountains, rivers, ocean, and islands are arresting to the eye and exciting to the soul. The long and varied human history of this magical place is irresistibly grand and eventful.

Vancouver -- the city, the land -- has al-ways been a place of appetites, of licenses offered and liberties taken. Since the time the humans crossed the Bering Strait and journeyed down the Pacific Coast seeking a fabled land of plenty, Vancouver, caught between soaring mountains and a vast ocean, has been a destiny for the spirit.

Beginning in the dying era of the last Ice Age, Vancouver unfolds with the story of Tooke, the last survivor of a Siberian people and ancestor to the first nations of Vancouver. Moving through history in a rich, ever-expanding tapestry, Vancouver reveals a fascinating cast of characters. Long before recorded history, a young girl faces the terrifying prospect of marriage into a faraway tribe. Hundreds of years later, a Georgian cartographer aboard a Spanish exploration fleet nearly meets his end at the hands of her descendants. In the passing of the next centuries, a Scottish trapper becomes the reluctant leader of a fur-trading outpost on Vancouver's shores, and a Chinese peasant boy seeks an elusive fortune. The burgeoning colony of Vancouver lures a turn-of-the-century British adventurer and a German noble. In modern times, a superstar singer and film actress meets her destiny in the form of a young native girl struggling to free herself from the city's impoverished downtown eastside.

The characters of Vancouver are all vastly different, yet they all share something -- a powerful attraction to a grand and giving land. Their stories intertwine, touching the extremes of human experience: riches, bravery, betrayal, crime, passion, and forbidden love.

& Taylor

Follows the human history of the city of Vancouver from the viewpoints of coastal tribes who are driven out by treasure seekers, marooned Russian explorers, Scottish fur trappers, Chinese peasants, and penny-stock promoters.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, [2003]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2003
ISBN: 9780060197872
Branch Call Number: FIC Cruise, D 2003
Characteristics: 753 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Griffiths, Alison 1953-


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Jun 28, 2011

This epic, 800-plus pages book was a great read. It took me forever to read it but I really loved it. Each part of the book jumps off at a different era in the city’s history and is well researched. The book is fiction but there is a lot of history on display as well. From prehistoric times to the present day, every important era of the area is documented.

I really enjoyed reading about my city’s creation from nothing to something in fictional way that seems historically accurate but isn’t as dry as reading an historical account. Characters range from First Nations people to Chinese and Sikh Immigrants to European Explorers and more. I walked away feeling a bigger appreciation for the gorgeous city in which I live (and then there was a riot, like, a week later) and I would highly recommend this book.


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