Disaster in Paradise

Survivor of Johnson’s Landing landslides tours memoir in Cranbrook

Amanda Bath

Amanda Bath

For the Townsman

Leading up to the third anniversary (July 12 & 13) of the tragic 2012 landslides in Johnson’s Landing, author Amanda Bath is touring with her new memoir, Disaster in Paradise: The Landslides in Johnson’s Landing (Harbour Publishing).

Bath will be giving talks and presentations throughout the Kootenays to commemorate what the community lost and to help all British Columbians learn how to read the signs of an oncoming natural disaster.

Join Bath for a presentation and book signing at Lotus Books (33 10th Ave. S., Cranbrook) on Wednesday, June 24 at 7 pm. Admission is free.

Disaster in Paradise is the first book about the 2012 Johnson’s Landing landslides — two natural disasters that devastated the picturesque Kootenay Lake community.

Amanda Bath’s house was flattened by the first slide only an hour after she left the area, and when she returned less than 24 hours later to try to rescue her cat, she had less than a minute of warning before a second landslide completely buried what remained of her home.

Amanda’s escape from the second landslide was caught on video by a news crew who had left the same beach minutes earlier and the footage went viral on YouTube.

The process of writing Disaster in Paradise was like therapy for Bath, carrying her through the painful months that followed.

Disaster in Paradise is the story of Bath’s trauma and healing, but it is also the story of a community as it joined together to mourn and gradually rebuild in the wake of tragedy.

In total, the landslides destroyed six homes and killed four people: Valentine Webber, aged 60; his daughters, 22-year-old Diana and 17-year-old Rachel; and 64-year-old Petra Frehse.

The book is both a chronicle of a BC tragedy and a warning for the future. With the increasing effects of climate change, disasters like this could easily happen again, and governments need to be prepared; British Columbians need to know the signs.

Amanda Bath was born and raised in England, and lived in London before moving to the tiny community of Johnson’s Landing in 1993.

She holds a PhD in Catalan Literature and worked in human rights research for Amnesty International for a decade.

Because her home in Johnson’s Landing was destroyed by the 2012 landslides, she now lives in Kaslo, BC, with her husband Christopher Klassen. This is her first book.

For more information about this event, please contact Lotus Books at 250-426-3415.

Cranbrook Daily Townsman