The Luminaries is pretty hefty coming in at 832 pages long but if you love big books and especially historical fiction, this is perfect for you.
The story is a mystery set in the gold mining town of Hokitika, on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand back in 1866.
One man is found dead, another is missing, and a working girl is found unconscious in the middle of the road plus there is $4000 of gold found in the dead man’s hut and a previously unknown wife who arrives to claim it.
Walter Moody arrives in town and finds himself in the confidence of twelve men in the back room of a local bar on the evening he arrives. They all have their own suspicions as to what has happened to the missing man, the dead man and where the money has come from.
1. It had won the Man Booker prize
2. I liked the idea of a reading a historical fiction set in New Zealand, as I hadn’t read one before.
3. I’m trying read as many of the big books of 2013 as I can.
4. I liked the description of the book
5. I had read many good reviews
From the beginning of the book, I was hooked on the various mysteries.
I found the characters and the descriptions of the country very compelling.
There are quite a few characters and a lot of overlapping storylines but it was laid out in such a way that I never got confused.
Every time I thought I’d solved the mystery, there was another part of the story still to be told by someone else that changed everything.
I got a bit confused by all the astrological bits at the front of each chapter, so I ignored them and found doing so did not impact on the story at all!
Though I did love the little teaser of what was to happen at the beginning of each chapter.
I do normally struggle with big books; however, I was so absorbed in everyone’s story that I didn’t notice the length of this book at all.
So I would say, try this book, even if you are afraid of big books because it’s worth it!