The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

The Luminaries

Eleanor Catton

Set in New Zealand during the 1866 Gold Rush, this is an intricately plotted and intensely atmospheric novel with a huge cast, who each tell their own stories. A perfect format with a writing style which accurately reflects the period. Built round an astrological calendar, expect a murder mystery, an adventure story and a romance to keep you intrigued to the end when all is revealed. Winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize.

Extract

The truth was that not six hours ago, aboard the barque that had conveyed him from Port Chalmers to the wild shard of the coast, Moody had witnessed an event so extraordinary and affecting that it called all other realities into doubt. The scene was still with him - as if a door had chinked open, in the corner of his mind, to show a band of greying light, and he could not now wish the darkness back. It was costing him a great deal of effort to keep that door from opening further. In this fragile condition, any unorthodoxy or inconvenience was personally affronting.

Parallels
  • Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
  • The Colour by Rose Tremain