It has been a long time since I finished a book and knew for certain that I would be reading it again, soon. The Luminaries is an enthralling read. I don’t make it a point to seek out Booker Prize winners, but I was recently looking for a good book to read during my nightly baby feeding sessions and the recent announcement of The Luminaries as the 2013 winner caught my eye. I may have been put off by the girth of this novel; at 850 pages it is a tome! Luckily I bought it for my Kobo though and I have yet to see a paper copy of it. The novel, set in late 19th century New Zealand, centres around a conspiracy and how a number of different characters have unwittingly played a role in it. Putting the pieces together to figure out the series of events that occurred and how each character was involved kept me awake and engaged throughout the wee hours of the morning as I nursed my babe. Needless to say for a Booker Prize winner, the writing is brilliant. What surprised me was reading about Eleanor Catton after finishing the book. If you are an aspiring novelist, you may feel ill when you learn that Catton is the youngest Booker Prize winner ever, at the age of 28! Thinking back about the writing, this is incredibly impressive. Catton convincingly writes from a variety of perspectives and in a historical time period to boot. The Luminaries is only her second novel, the first being the thesis for her master’s degree! Her obvious talent has certainly made me feel envious even though I’ve never harboured a strong desire to write a novel, let alone an award-winner. It’s a very creative and a complex work and I highly, highly recommend it, especially if you like a good mystery.
The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton