Book Review: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

Eleanor Catton's second novel, The Luminaries, is a mammoth undertaking - both for the author and her readers: the book amounts to 832 pages. Catton won the Man Booker Prize 2013 for it (becoming the youngest author and the longest book ever to do so). It is, indeed, well worth taking the odyssey; one that transports readers to nineteenth-century New Zealand and a mystical mystery that will leave you gripped.

One of the most enduring features of this work is Catton's depictions of the multiple protagonists at play: characters are rendered in sparkling clarity going several layers deep. When introduced to a new character, we are often given at least one or two whole pages of analysis regarding their outward and inward character. Her descriptions are so intricate that these people virtually walk out of the pages and into our psyche with such formidable realness. The story itself is centred so strongly around this group of people, and takes place over so much time and so many pages, that this is naturally one of the most impressive, enjoyable facets of the book - and perhaps a necessity too, but one that is well executed.

If you are searching for summer literature that will whisk you away, keep you intrigued and provide beautiful prose to stimulate your imagination, then look no further.