A murder mystery set in the Hokitika goldfields in 1866. An 832-page book built on a foundation of astrological beliefs.
❖ “Where to start! The structure of this epic story is so complex yet the plot is so (seemingly) simple, I can’t begin to imagine the intellectual prowess it must have taken to put together. But I know from Catton’s The Rehearsal that she is a writer who doesn’t waste a word, so The Luminaries‘ multi-layered complexity/simplicity! was not a surprise. I feel as though there are details I have missed but nonetheless I can see it becoming a NZ classic.” – Rachel
❖ “To my eternal shame I have attempted this book 3 times and it remains unfinished. This is a reflection on ME and my distractibility NOT the author. Don’t judge me ok! I have always enjoyed it as far as I’ve read it! Watching Eleanor Catton speak in Nelson in 2014 was just so good. One of my heroes, literary and otherwise.” – Suzy
❖ Rachel: As an aside, Suzy and I attended an afternoon with Eleanor Catten some months after this and we were amazed to learn how deep the layers of this book actually go. She spoke passionately about astrology and music having an in-sync rhythm as well as the development of her characters in true Victorian style. We had to struggle not to bow to her as we exited the venue afterwards!
Victoria University Press