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