On the morning of July 12, 2012, Mandy Bath left her picturesque home and garden in Johnson's Landing, BC, for a day trip to nearby Kaslo. She had no forewarning of what the placid summer day would bring. But just over an hour later, a massive landslide tore into the community, destroying her home and killing four people: Valentine Webber, aged 60, and his daughters, 22-year-old Diana and 17-year-old Rachel, along with 64-year-old Petra Frehse. Returning the next day to search for her cat, Mandy narrowly avoided being buried beneath a second slide.
Disaster in Paradise tells a story of survival, grief and recovery, as Mandy and the other residents of Johnson's Landing gradually rebuild their community in the wake of the tragedy. Mandy eloquently details her own experience of trauma and healing, and weaves in the stories of other residents and volunteers in the rescue and recovery missions as the community bands together to collectively mourn their loss. The story is grounded by the author's intimate knowledge of the Johnson's Landing community, but also reflects the greater themes of loss, perseverance and bravery that arise in natural disasters everywhere.