, November 04, 2013
(view all comments by DougG)
Eleanor Catton suddenly became the literary darling of the season when her second novel,'The Luminaries', won the coveted Man Booker Prize this year, making her both the youngest winner and with the longest novel in the prize's history. But her first novel, 'The Rehearsal' should have tipped off readers that she was someone for whom to watch out. In a sui generis style, Catton illuminates in gorgeous prose full of wit, insight and intelligence, the story of a scandal in a New Zealand high school, when a young girl has a consensual affair with her jazz band teacher. Simultaneously, a young boy enters a rigorous acting program with some unusual methodology, and finds himself creating a performance piece based on the scandal. Unexpected, humorous and head-scratching by turns, Catton brilliantly intrigue the reader right up to the last sentence.