This vibrant and complex novel, set during the New Zealand Gold Rush, is Victorian in scope and language yet it reads as fluidly as spare modern prose. Thirteen men are drawn together to uncover the mystery at the heart of occurrences on a single night two weeks prior to the opening of the story: a hermit has died, a newly rich young man has disappeared and the town’s best loved prostitute has apparently attempted suicide. The plot twists and turns and folds back on itself but is thoroughly compelling. The period is vividly evoked and the characters are well defined and engaging despite their many personal flaws. The Luminaries was winner of the 2013 Man Booker prize.
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