The Luminaries The Luminaries question


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What did Moody see on the Godspeed?
Chaya Nebel Chaya Nov 23, 2013 07:08PM
Did I miss something, or was it that the 2 weeks it took me to finish the book made me forget little bits of plot that got lost in my brain like jetsam on the water? The mysterious ghost/phantom/dead man come alive that Moody sees on board the Godspeed seems to me was never explained by the author. Can anyone help me resolve this loose end?



It is one of the big gestures that commences with a flourish and is tied up without a pay-off. The astral twins take on each other's wounds and addictions. Some of it is dramatic. Staines gets lost in the bush and is starving and Anna eats and loses weight. That is a good use of the astral twin idea. But the bloody apparition Moody sees feels like a bit of a cheat - a big note then nothing much. Does it matter? Probably not.


Staines becomes drugged when Anna smokes opium in January and is accidentally put in a shipping crate. He is kept alive by Anna eating and is shot when Moody finds him after Anna accidentally shoots herself.


I'm not one hundred percent but I think what he saw was an injured Staines. I remember reading on later towards the end how Staines was confused and out of it and he collapsed on the shipping docks when he was trying to find Anna that same night. Around the same time a crate was nailed shut on the same dock, probably with him inside unconscious.


what i finally didn't get it is who shot Staines? Was it Anna or someone who shot him with Anna's gun? Also, when Carver went to Crosbie's house to kill him how come he didn't see the fortune in his house!? after, half of it was supposedly his as it was smelted with Aurora's name!


Chaya--glad to see I wasn't the only one left wondering! Also, I feel stupid for having to ask this, but who actually assaulted Anna? Was it really Carver? That chapter were he encountered her on the road made it seem like his testimony had actually been honest; he slapped her and then rode away...

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Eva He slapped her and then his horse shied - supposedly striking her. He's honest in terms of only having slapped her, but withholds the detail about his ...more
Jan 24, 2020 03:55AM · flag

I had the same question. I found this answer in one of online homework help sites, and it made sense to me. I have not gone back and checked passages, however:

Walter says he disagrees with that, but we know from his discussions with others that this isn't strictly true: he is pretty well convinced that he saw Emery Staines' ghost while he was aboard the Godspeed. In fact, he had remarked that that theory was semi-confirmed just that morning when no bloody body matching the person he saw was discovered in the wreckage of that ship.


I really loved the book but hate the anti-climax that happens after part 4
I was wondering When Mody got into Godspeed? after 14th Jan? then how come Statin was still there?when he was in Hokitika ? did he go and back??

February was a month without a moon is that's why he kept hidden??

And agree with Carrie and Maya who assault Anna till she lose her baby?


King (last edited Apr 23, 2018 03:26PM ) Apr 23, 2018 03:23PM   0 votes
I enjoyed this book as entertainment, i was not expecting deep meaning or historical accuracy or a show of literary prowess. I am not overly concerned if some of the characters do not get their due.
I admit to being a novice mystery reader, yet i am willing to accept a red herring or two.
Still, when i reached the end i felt disappointed in the number of unexplained loose ends. Reading here i discovered the astral twins angle that i missed. That explains a lot. Fair enough.
But, who dug up the gold and stashed it in the cabin? Who killed Carver (bashed his head in?) Whose gunshot is heard when Anna meets Carver on the road?


Rean (last edited Nov 29, 2013 09:22AM ) Nov 29, 2013 09:21AM   0 votes
Nice to see I am not the only one that had this question. Staines luck certainly bore out. I mean, the dude got heavily stoned on opium, shot, staggered off to the ports, collapsed, nailed into a box and left for days, ship wrecked, then [presumably] washed up, wandered around the bush some more days, before making his way back to Crosby's abandoned house, where someone sympathetic finally finds him. To be fair though you can't have a good Gothic yarn without someone thinking they have heard, or seen the dead. Personally, I spent a good part of the book wondering if Staines had become a zombie. Turned out he was just a Love Zombie.


Thank goodness for all of you. I've just finished it and was baffled by the astral twins thing. Who killed carver though in the the back of the police cart?

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Mike Bevel Of COURSE. (That was the only puzzle I hadn't figured out.) ...more
Mar 01, 2018 05:21AM · flag

Thanks for some of your comments to make sense of some of the plot and tie up some loose ends in my mind. I admired this novel`s structure rather than enjoyed the storytelling. It seemed to go on too long just to fit into the structure which created lots of repetition towards the end.


Besides the incident where Staines in nourished by Anna, is there other significances to the astrological forecasting at each chapter's beginning? Are the characters playing out the zodiacs, is what is happening forecast by the zodiac?


I never figured out what Moody saw on the Godspeed either. I do think that his character and appearance on the Godspeed were possibly a red herring to make you think Carver and Wells were his family and that Moody was behind their murder and disappearance. I believed this particularly because Moody's narration dropped after the first chapter.


In the chapter where Carver slaps Anna, a gunshot goes off and Carver's horse rears up... It was my understanding that the horse probably injured Anna and caused her to lose the baby. Anna may have been too drugged up to remember anything except that Carver was there --- I assume she really thought he assaulted her and caused her to lose her baby. I supposed it is possible she knowlingly lied when she said Carver beat her until she lost the baby.


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