Literary Mood Board: The Luminaries

Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries novel

I won’t lie: I originally picked up Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries because its cover is so pretty. I really had no idea what it was about, but had seen the buzz about it in general terms and decided it was time to read it for myself. The story follows a group of miners, politicians, and prostitutes living in a small New Zealand gold rush town and circles around some strange happenings that leave everyone (characters included) intrigued. Who is the dead man Walter Moody witnesses gasping for breath aboard the ship that’s landed him in New Zealand? How did it come to pass that Anna’s gowns are actually filled with gold dust? Where is Emery Stains?!

There’s some major thought put into this work, as its Wikipedia entry can attest. Regardless of the fancy literary footwork that’s engaged in the background, this book was an interesting read, in that I wasn’t hooked at the start, when the chapter-intro blurbs were short and the chapters were looooong, but as the intro blurbs lengthened and the chapters shortened, I found myself becoming more and more intrigued. I won’t attempt to explain any further. If you’re intrigued by flighty things like astrology and grounded things like gold rushes, give it a read. Let me know how you get on!

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