The Colour by Rose Tremain

Synopsis taken from Blackwell Bookshop:

This is a writer whose breadth of imagination and supple prose transcend the genre: she is one of the finest writers in English’ Daily Telegraph. Joseph and Harriet Blackstone emigrate from Norfolk to New Zealand in search of new beginnings and prosperity. But the harsh land near Christchurch where they settle threatens to destroy them almost before they begin. When Joseph finds gold in the creek he is seized by a rapturous obsession with the voluptuous riches awaiting him deep in the earth. Abandoning his farm and family, he sets off alone for the new gold-fields over the Southern Alps, a moral wilderness where many others, under the seductive dreams of ‘the colour’, are violently rushing to their destinies. By turns both moving and terrifying, it is a story of the quest for the impossible, an attempt to mine the complexities of love and in the process discover the sacrifices to be made in the pursuit of happiness.

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  1. michelebbc

     /  August 18, 2010

    I agree I liked this one but thought the love story element was very unrealistic and out of place.

  2. hilaryfbbc

     /  August 15, 2010

    Sorry I didn’t make this meeting. I loved this book when I read it a couple of years ago, although the love affair between Harriet and the Chinese man, whose name I cannot remember, seemed very Hollywood.
    Before I read this I had had no idea at all that there had been such a thing as a NZ gold rush.
    I do like the variety of styles and ‘voices’ and periods that Rose Tremain writes in, I think she is very talented at storytelling and I also like the theme of emigration / immigration (broadly speaking) that she comes back to – as well as in The Colour, is in The Road Home and Restoration which are 2 of her others I have read. Just got The Cupboard out of the library but no idea what that is about!


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