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This title in other editions

The Colour

by

The Colour Cover

ISBN13: 9780312423100
ISBN10: 0312423101
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Newlyweds Joseph and Harriet Blackstone emigrate from England to New Zealand, along with Joseph's mother Lilian, 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 a creek bed, he hides the discovery from both his wife and mother, and becomes obsessed with the riches awaiting him deep in the earth. Abandoning his farm and family, he sets off alone for the new goldfields over the Southern Alps, a moral wilderness where many others, under the seductive dreams of the "colour," rush to their destinies and doom.

Rose Tremain is the author of nine novels, including Music & Silence, Restoration, and The Way I Found Her. She is the recipient of the Whitbread Novel Prize, the Prix Femina, and the Sunday Express "Book of the Year" Award. Her work has been translated into twenty languages. Tremain lives in Norfolk, England, with the biographer Richard Holmes.

Booklist Editors' Choice

Rose Tremain has been acclaimed internationally as one of our finest historical novelists. Restoration was short-listed for the Booker Prize and Music & Silence won England's prestigious Whitbread Novel of the Year Award. Her new novel, The Colour, is a gripping drama of love and greed set during the mid-nineteenth-century Gold Rush in New Zealand.

When newlyweds Joseph and Harriet Blackstone emigrate from England along with Joseph's mother, Lilian, they are in search of prosperous new beginnings. But they are ill-prepared for the obstacles they must face, and the harsh land near Christchurch where they settle threatens to destroy them almost before they can begin. A difficult first winter exacerbates the growing tension between husband and wife, and strengthens Lilian's determination to return to England and leave this strange and unforgiving new country behind.

Then Joseph finds gold in the creek behind their small farm, and, possessed by the promise of riches awaiting him deep in the earth, he hides his discovery from his wife and mother. When the creek fails to fulfill his hopes, he sets off alone for the goldfields over the Southern Alps, joining the hundreds of others who are under the seductive spell of the "colour", the miners' slang for this elusive mineral. Harriet struggles to manage the farm alone, but eventually decides to follow her husband to the gold diggings. On her own journey westward, she makes a startling discovery that illuminates the emptiness of her marriage at the same time that it holds the tantalizing promise of a future she could never have imagined.

Panoramic in scope but exquisitely attuned to the fragile emotional terrain that underlies all relationships, The Colour beautifully captures the rugged landscape of New Zealand while it forces us to question the price we will pay in our search for happiness.

"In this novel that so skillfully makes use of the formulas of melodrama only to discard them and surprise us, Tremain's singular combination of the passionate and the sardonic strikes one as a marriage of say, Emily Brontë and Paul Bowles. The Colour is smart, lumpy with sentiment, brutal, and oddly funnya sort of carnival in hell."John Vernon, The New York Times Book Review

"The Colour is a beautifully written novel that teems with life on every page."The Boston Globe

"Fully rounded human beings and a nimble prose style . . . Peerless imagination."Newsday

"Extraordinary . . . a wonderful novel about change and transformation, love and desire, the valuable and the useless, East versus West, and t he living and the dead."Chicago Tribune

"The Colour is storytelling in the grand style . . . Tremain has woven a hypnotic, compelling tale set in one of the most beautiful counties on earth."The Houston Chronicle

"Readers familiar with British writer Tremain's magisterial historical novel, Restoration, or her psychologically acute study of madness, Music & Silence, will not be surprised at the accuracy of historical detail in this elegant and dramatic novel about the mid-19th-century gold rush in New Zealand or by her nuanced portrait of the disintegration of a marriage. Writing at the top of her form, she tells a complex story centering on two immigrants to New Zealand, whose recent marriage represents new hopes for both of them . . . With its combination of vivid historical adventure and sensual, late-blooming romance, it's hard to see how this novel can miss winning a new audience for the immensely talented Tremain."Publishers Weekly

"Tremain does a fine job exploring the culture of the Rush: the noise, the stink, the thrill of the 'homeward bounder' . . . True to form, Tremain doesn't confine herself to the white settler's viewpoint: other important characters include a Maori woman guided by the spirit world, and a Chinese market gardener who will play a crucial plot role and experience a transformation. Transformations, indeed, abound in this brittle world where everything is possible and yet everything is at risk. The result is a page-turner that's also a work of startling beauty."Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"In this novel that so skillfully makes use of the formulas of melodrama only to discard them and surprise us, Tremain's singular combination of the passionate and the sardonic strikes one as a marriage of, say, Emily Brontë and Paul Bowles. THE COLOUR is smart, lumpy with sentiment, brutal and oddly funny — a sort of carnival in hell." John Vernon, New York Times Book Review

Review:

"The novel is colorful and often exciting, but allegory chews at story, insistently and sometimes noisily.... Ms. Tremain's literary hallmark [is] to set up the romantically extravagant and curb it with the idiosyncratically human." Richard Eder, New York Times

Review:

"The Colour has been meticulously researched, but Tremain's real concern is with the world outside of the time and place in which it is set.... It could be said that a sense of the real...is lost in the creation of what is essentially a metaphysical work of fiction. But the characters Rose Tremain has created are credible and vivid, and the narrative sustained and controlled, and these are the strengths of this complex, engrossing and intelligent novel." Margaret Stead, Times Literary Supplement

Review:

"[A] gripping pioneer story.... [A] page-turner that's also a work of startling beauty." Kirkus

Review:

"Every bit as enthralling as any of her previous work.... The Colour is a beautifully written novel that teems with life on every page." The Boston Globe

Review:

"Writing at the top of her form.... With its combination of vivid historical adventure and sensual, late-blooming romance, it's hard to see how this novel can miss winning a new audience for the immensely talented Tremain." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Fully rounded human beings and a nimble prose style.... Peerless imagination." Newsday

Synopsis:

Newlyweds Joseph and Harriet Blackstone emigrate from England to New Zealand, along with Joseph's mother Lilian, 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 a creek bed, he hides the discovery from both his wife and mother, and becomes obsessed with the riches awaiting him deep in the earth. Abandoning his farm and family, he sets off alone for the new goldfields over the Southern Alps, a moral wilderness where many others, under the seductive dreams of the "colour," rush to their destinies and doom.

About the Author

Rose Tremain is the author of nine novels, most recently Music & Silence, and her work has been translated into fourteen languages. She lives in Norfolk, England, with the biographer Richard Holmes.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

reading4years, November 7, 2007 (view all comments by reading4years)
New Zealand in the 1860's is the setting for this very enjoyable historical fiction by Rose Tremain. For reasons gradually revealed, Joseph and Harriet Blackstone, and Joseph's 65-year old mother, move from England to take up farming. Shortly after their arrival, a gold rush begins. In addition to the Blackstones' story, there is also the neighboring homestead, a successful sheep ranch, where a strong connection forms between the child Erwin, and his Maori nursemaid. Tremain's characters are well developed, the plot is compelling, the historical detail and landscape well portrayed. This is a book that is difficult to put down.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780312423100
Author:
Tremain, Rose
Publisher:
Picador USA
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20040431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes one map
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 x 0.881 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

The Colour New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$20.00 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Picador USA - English 9780312423100 Reviews:
"Review" by , "In this novel that so skillfully makes use of the formulas of melodrama only to discard them and surprise us, Tremain's singular combination of the passionate and the sardonic strikes one as a marriage of, say, Emily Brontë and Paul Bowles. THE COLOUR is smart, lumpy with sentiment, brutal and oddly funny — a sort of carnival in hell."
"Review" by , "The novel is colorful and often exciting, but allegory chews at story, insistently and sometimes noisily.... Ms. Tremain's literary hallmark [is] to set up the romantically extravagant and curb it with the idiosyncratically human."
"Review" by , "The Colour has been meticulously researched, but Tremain's real concern is with the world outside of the time and place in which it is set.... It could be said that a sense of the real...is lost in the creation of what is essentially a metaphysical work of fiction. But the characters Rose Tremain has created are credible and vivid, and the narrative sustained and controlled, and these are the strengths of this complex, engrossing and intelligent novel."
"Review" by , "[A] gripping pioneer story.... [A] page-turner that's also a work of startling beauty."
"Review" by , "Every bit as enthralling as any of her previous work.... The Colour is a beautifully written novel that teems with life on every page."
"Review" by , "Writing at the top of her form.... With its combination of vivid historical adventure and sensual, late-blooming romance, it's hard to see how this novel can miss winning a new audience for the immensely talented Tremain."
"Review" by , "Fully rounded human beings and a nimble prose style.... Peerless imagination."
"Synopsis" by ,
Newlyweds Joseph and Harriet Blackstone emigrate from England to New Zealand, along with Joseph's mother Lilian, 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 a creek bed, he hides the discovery from both his wife and mother, and becomes obsessed with the riches awaiting him deep in the earth. Abandoning his farm and family, he sets off alone for the new goldfields over the Southern Alps, a moral wilderness where many others, under the seductive dreams of the "colour," rush to their destinies and doom.

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