the good book corner

Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton


Now this is exactly what Booker Prize worthy work is made of. Impeccable research, fine language and a plot to string together historical facts with the fictional element of mystery.

The book starts with a scene set right in the Dickensian style in colonist New Zealand.

“THE TWELVE MEN congregated in the smoking room of the Crown Hotel gave the impression of a party accidentally met. From the variety of their comportment and dress—frock coats, tailcoats, Norfolk jackets with buttons of horn, yellow moleskin, cambric, and twill—they might have been twelve strangers on a railway car”.

The descriptions that follow ensure that the readers visualise the plot unfolding right in front of their eyes. For history buffs, this book is right up their alley. For the ones who wonder why this book is so critically acclaimed, be patient and read it. For once forget Nancy Pearl’s ” RULE OF FIFTY”!!!

To link and connect more than twelve equally important characters, is a Herculean task. Catton has skilfully let each character gain prominence without stepping over the others. The use of astronomical charts at the start of a section is an ingenious and innovative way to give the reader an insight into which characters dominate the pages to come.

A book definitely worth the sleepless nights that you will have, as it’s very difficult to put this one down!!!

Rating 4/5

The Luminaries
Eleanor Catton
Published by Victoria University Press, Granta Books & Little, Brown & Company
Winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize
832 pages
Available as hardcover and ebook at Amazon and other online stores and bookstores


About artikaaurorabakshi

Artika Aurora Bakshi Artika Aurora Bakshi is the author of three well-acclaimed children’s books,My Little Sikh Handbook, My Little Sikh Handbook 2: Ardas, My Little Sikh Handbook: Travel Journal, and an anthology of stories, Hold On To Me. Her first story, set in Amritsar, during the pre-Partition period, All She Had Left, was published on Story Mirror. She co-manages, a manuscript help and book review site. Her passion for reading has led her to helping other writers with their manuscripts. She comes from a family of lawyers and has a master’s degree in International Banking & Finance. Currently based in Sri Lanka, she teaches Commerce and History on a part-time basis at an international school and enjoys being part of the literary scene in Sri Lanka. A regular at the Galle Literary Festival and other literary events in Sri Lanka, Artika’s articles and book reviews have featured in the Daily Mirror, Daily News, The Ceylon Chronicle, and various blogs, such as,,, She was actively involved with SAARC Women’s Association of Sri Lanka and was President of the Association in 2016. An avid reader, Artika runs an online book club with a membership base of over 600 members. Her quotes are featured under soul.nightingale on Instagram and on Soul Nightingale by Artika Aurora Bakshi on Facebook. Artika is also working on her fourth children’s book in the My Little Sikh Handbook series and a second anthology of stories for adults. You can reach Artika at .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on September 7, 2014 by in Book Reviews, Fiction and tagged , , , .
%d bloggers like this: