The Luminaries is the second novel by Eleanor Catton,published by Victoria University Press in August 2013 and Granta. It s a longest book spanning 832 pages.
Walter Moody, a prospector, traverses to the fledgling West Coast of the South Island settlement of Hokitika, near New Zealand’s goldfields in 1866 in an attempt to make his fortune. However, he stumbles into a edgy meeting between twelve local men. They pull him in to the complex mystery, a series of unsolved crimes. Anna Wetherell, one of the protagonist and a former opium-addicted Hokitika whore, has had a previous affair with one Crosbie Wells. Crosbie Wells yay or may not be Francis Carver. Carver is pursued by Ah Sook, a Chinese veteran of the Second Opium War. He wants vengeance for his father’s death as a result of impaired border duties.
Wells is married to hotel keeper Lydia Wells, who initially met Anna when she gets off from a British passenger vessel at Port Chalmers. Anna was expelled from her former Dunedin accommodation and was forced into prostitution in Hokitika following an affair with Crosbie Wells and succumbing to opium addiction. Moreover, Anna was carrying Wells’ baby. She had miscarried after a atrocious beating.
Questions arise about the authenticity of a new prospective Hokitika gold mine claim staked by newcomer Emery Staines, who is also opium-addicted. Anna is rescued from her life of prostitution by a forgiving Lydia Wells. This helps her to re-encounter Staines, whom she had fallen in love earlier. But, Ah Sook plans to attack Carver but is stopped by Governor Shepard who kills him – claiming that he fired to prevent Ah Sook shooting Carver.
It is an everlastingly book blended with most compelling mystery. This book completely in control of all the active, scrimmage plot lines of the circular affair, as if they really were gritted by the astrological patterns.
P.S. I received this book from MySmartPrice (http://www.mysmartprice.com/books/) and in return I promised them to give an honest and an unbiased review.
(c) Reviewed by Sridevi Nayak Karopady