Hi readers! I'm going to start off by saying that it took awhile for me to get into this book. I wasn't really hooked until about 100 pages in, but considering that The Luminaries is 830 pages, I guess I didn't waste too much time. Once I was into it though, it flew by. I feel like it's mostly due to the constant movement of stories in between characters. This also makes sense because of the astrological symbolism that each character carries. Each of their personalities couldn't have been represented so beautifully if not for the movement.
The characters, zodiacs and planets alike, give the story it's mystery. At first I was trying to guess who was what, but then I realized that the charts before each section are meant to be analyzed. They show the zodiacs by the characters name, and then their symbol. That's when I started to notice, throughout each chapter, they were all the epitome of each zodiac. It was brilliant. How Eleanor Catton dreamt a plot that connects 12+ characters to one murdered man is mind boggling.
It starts to make more sense when you realize patterns between the zodiac characters and the planet characters. Everything that the zodiacs go through are all caused by the planets actions. Light bulb moment: that's how it is in the real universe too! If you've ever read a horoscope, you know that your emotions and actions are effected by what planets are intersecting with your zodiac. Reading a fantastical take on a realistic phenomenon was riveting.
This book really was everything you could want in a novel. It is mystical, romantic, and even enlightening. It forces you to think about what it means to be fortunate, and how easy it is to let your wealth, plenty or scarce, take over your life. That is the one thing each character has in common, they are either chasing money, stealing it, or burying it. I think the message in all of this, is that you are in control of your own life, and you can't let the "planets" lead you astray. Even without symbolic meaning, it's still an awesome story. If you haven't read it yet, go now! It's worth every nugget.