Review: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton


The LuminariesThe Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book won the Man Booker Prize in 2013.

In this book, Eleanor Catton describes the gold rush in 1866 in Hokitika, a town located in the southwest of New Zealand.

By that time, the Maori have already found the greenstone, a type of jade, which is a stone that can be found easily in New Zealand.

The plot is intertwined of several minor stories. One of them is about the inheritance of a death hermit and his rightful inheritors. In the meantime, a young man, who became rich in a gold mine, disappears without any trace to be found. And apparently a prostitute, who is an opium addict, makes a suicide attempt without success.

“The Colour” written by Rose Tremain also deals with the gold rush in New Zealand even if the scenery is Christchurch, also in the South Island but in the Southeast coast. The plot moves afterwards also to Hokitika, where the gold was more abundant.

Even if both authors are non Neo Zealand natives, they were able to shown the local culture where the new incoming immigrants shared their culture with the Maori natives.

Even if it’s a long book, I don’t complain about its length since the author managed to keep us well-connected with the story of the main characters.

As well as the cover of “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt, I also loved the cover of this book which illustrates the phases of the moon and how the narrative lengths as the story progresses.


The Hokitika River

I am very luck to have the opportunity to travel to New Zealand and I found that The South Island is just a piece of the paradise with too many beautiful places to be visited.

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3 thoughts on “Review: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

  1. Pingback: Impac Dublin Literary Award 2015 | Pleasure of Reading

  2. A brilliant read and extremely well researched. Eleanor Catton has lived in NZ I believe since she was 6 years old, so it is home for her and it is apparent in her dedication to this work. It will be interesting to see how it takes to the small screen.

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