Granta Books (2013)
I have just completed reading this 800+ page novel.
ABOVE IS MY OWN NATAL CHART (18 January 1948, 5.40 pm, Essex, England)
So you can see I was destined to read this novel during the last couple of weeks! And reading it particularly while I was on holiday last week in serendipitous search of Lichfield Cathedral and its inverse astrology as God’s anchor (see HERE).
Just like Catton’s woman ‘of the oldest profession’ was anchored with her dresses by linings of earth’s hawling innards (seen here as gold).
I enjoyed this novel, too, as a spin-off! I was compelled along by the limpid, often aesthetically and enticingly dry, tentacular, prose – and the complexity of the semi-astrological whodunnit plot that didn’t seem to matter when parts of it went above my head. I understood it all by the time I finished this massive work, or at least part of me understood the whole of it, understood and absorbed the literary ‘opium’ of this traditional but ground-breaking (literally and figuratively) novel about gold-diggers in 19th century New Zealand. Intrigue, politics (politics mundane, hallucinatory, institutional and sexual), an inferred mysticism akin to John Cowper Powys, greed, goodness, badness, Jungian synchronicity as well as retrocausality by effect, and more, as if the ground we walk upon is paradoxically both our anchoring fate and our model to mould. A fictional truth, if ever such a concept can exist as closely to that of this novel. A novel exponentially spinning away chapter by chapter to the optimum core.