Author: Eleanor Catton
It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky. Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, The Luminaries is a brilliantly constructed, fiendishly clever ghost story and a gripping page-turner.
I DID IT! I FINISHED THIS GIGANTIC 848 PAGE BOOK!
Let us just say that this is not a book for the weak. It needs bravado to pick up a book this size, that also after knowing it is historical fiction. A genre that is not preferred by many.
But one thing is sure if you muster up enough courage to pick it up and start reading, you would be hooked from the word go. The story line pulls you in and then you become so engrossed in the book that you just do not want it to end.
I kept reading page after page not knowing how the story is going to turn out. The twists, the turns take you to an ending that is just unexpected. The brilliance of this book is just when you have finally figured out in your head how the story is going to come about, something or the other takes place and all your theories are flushed down the gutter..I just LOVE when that happens!
There are more main characters than I could count, and each come up with their own set of back stories that are somehow interlinked with each other. This is a complex book, you will need your concentration with you, but if you do, you will not regret it.
The book is split into two parts. In the first part, we see a man named Walter Moody mistakenly enter into an inn parlor where a secret meeting between 12 men is taking place. When Moody enters, it makes them 13. Now sine this book is based on lunar charting and symbolism, you just know now that they are 13 something wicked this way comes.
Moody finds out that these men are discussing weird happenings that have been occurring in the past few days. The first half of the book consists of each of the men recollecting their actions in connection with the larger events.
The second half of the book concentrates on what happens after the said meeting.
The Luminaries has all the right ingredients for a perfect book, it has death, disappearances, gold, theft, action, superstition and much more. No doubt this is a 2013 winner of Man Book Price.
Definitely the best read of this year till now!