Susan's Reviews > The Colour

The Colour by Rose Tremain
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Jun 02, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: group-my-own-reading, theme-wilderness, genre-historical
Read from June 02 to 19, 2011

I am giving this three stars, but after I think about it awhile, I might raise it to four stars. I am a fan of Rose Tremain's novels, and her books that I have read so far have widely differing locales, historical times and circumstances. In this novel, a newly married couple, and the man's mother, travel to New Zealand to start a new life, and be rid of the past. Joseph, the husband, has a shrouded secret and crime in England that he wants to leave behind. Harriet, the wife, is excited about finally starting her own life after twelve years of being a governess. Lilian, the mother, is in enforced exile after the humiliating death and financial ruin of her husband. They arrive in New Zealand at the time of the gold rush there, and waves of hopefuls are coming to find "the colour" gold for themselves. Gold fever and the land itself affects Joseph and Harriet differently, and change the lives they had planned. They have important involvements with other characters: the nearest neighbors on the next sheep run, a maori woman, a Chinese vegetable grower, and a young boy seeking his own type of fortune on the gold fields. I guess a truly good novel surprises you with where it goes, and so I was surprised on many occasions. I find myself mystified by the the story of the maori woman and the neighbor child, and have not been able to fathom where their mystical relationship was supposed to go. This novel will keep me thinking for quite a while, however.
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10/13/2015 marked as: currently-reading
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