The Luminaries

Eleanor Catton

The Luminaries

In January 1866, young Walter Moody lands in a gold-mining frontier town on the west coast of New Zealand to make his fortune and forever leave behind a family scandal. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men who have met in secret to investigate what links three crimes that occurred on a single day: the town's wealthiest man has vanished. An enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. A prostitute has supposedly tried to end her life. But nothing is quite as it seems. As the men share their stories, what emerges is an intricate network of alliances and betrayals, secrets and lies, that is as exquisitely patterned as the night sky. (From McClelland & Stewart)

The Luminaries won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction and the Man Booker Prize in 2013.

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Excerpt:

Anna moved away from him again, to the bedhead this time, and wrapped her fingers around the iron knob. As she moved he smelled her again - the sea. The intensity of the sensation startled him. He had to check the urge to step towards her, to follow her, and breathe her in. He smelled salt, and iron, and the heavy, metallic taste of foul weather... low cloud, he thought, and rain. And not just the sea: a ship. That tarred ropy smell, the dusty damp of bleached teak, oiled sailcloth, candle wax. His mouth began to water.


From The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton ©2013. Published by McClelland & Stewart.