“The Luminaries” by Eleanor Catton – A book review

What is the truth behind? This novel by Eleanor Catton kept me wondering what actually happened. Who is the real villain? There are twenty characters in the mysteries. Each telling his/her part of the story. It was a challenge to piece the parts together to make them into a coherent whole. The novel covers one-year period beginning April 1865 set in New Zealand. However the novel began on 27 January 1866 when twelve men held a secret council meeting to shed some light on the mysteries of a dead man, a woman who appeared to have committed suicide, and the disappearance of a young man. Each one holds a puzzle piece of a big jigsaw puzzle.

The story came alive one-third way into the 832-page novel for me when the author slowly reveals more to clear my nagging doubts at the start. One must persevere till the end to appreciate the brilliance of the story-line. Because of the length of the book and there are so many characters, I lost my way occasionally through the story. This novel requires good retention memory to hold onto the facts/details in your head. On the whole, I like the ending and a great courtroom drama to lift my excitement over this wonderful book.

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