This is a fun story in fancy dress. Lots of twists and turns and some quite unexpected results. Everybody has lied about at least one thing, nobody is clean, but the baddies may not be all that bad (some of them anyways), the innocents might not be all that innocent, and not all that shines is gold. An adventure story set on the West Coast of New Zealand during the gold rush (the 1860s), it made me discover many interesting aspects of this part of the world. Pardon my ignorance, but I had never heard of the New Zealand gold rushes.
A stranger comes into town and somehow takes part in a conversation about a local mystery and controversy. Of course, from this first contact, he develops a perception of events and people. And so do we… After this initiation into the scene, the story slowly unravels to reveal how the situation built up to what the stranger first learned, and moves on to the sweetness of young love, listening to the rain.
And the luminaries seem to refer to the celestial bodies that shed light on everything that is, and may even pull some strings.
This book was long, very long (something like 800 pages in paper version). My Kobo tells me I spent 20.6 hours reading it. Oh, but what fun I had. I highly recommend it to those who like their authors to spin a good yarn.