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The Colour (2003)

por Rose Tremain

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

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1,0005315,507 (3.79)347
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.… (mais)
  1. 20
    The Secret River por Kate Grenville (jayne_charles)
    jayne_charles: More Antipodean colonial pioneers
  2. 00
    The Luminaries por Eleanor Catton (doryfish)
    doryfish: Both are historical fictions set during the New Zealand gold rush that focus on interactions between a diverse cast of characters.
  3. 00
    The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton por Jane Smiley (wandering_star)
    wandering_star: Both these books focus on pioneer women, whose previous lives have done nothing to prepare them for the new difficulties and tasks which face them, and how they match up to their new life.
  4. 00
    Oscar and Lucinda por Peter Carey (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Similar (literally) 'builing a new life' story on the other side of the world. Roderick Blackstone (The Colour) has a gambling "System"/debts
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Mostrando 1-5 de 53 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Rose Tremain's novel "The Colour" is a work of historical fiction about the gold rush in New Zealand in the 1860's. Joseph Blackstone marries a woman he barely knows named Harriet and drags her and her mother off to New Zealand to start a new farming life -- but the discovery of "the colour" on their property leads him in a very different direction.

I actually enjoyed Harriet's story a lot and the gold rush portions of the novel. There is a subplot involving a neighboring child named Edwin Orchard and Maori woman named Pare that I didn't feel was well integrated into the book. I didn't enjoy that portion of the book as much. ( )
  amerynth | Jul 7, 2019 |
Guldgravning! Nybyggerliv! Elskere! Mørke hemmeligheder! Rose Tremains roman fra 2003 har det hele, og så er der alligevel et eller andet, der mangler. Jeg kunne ikke mærke hovedpersonerne, og så er det svært at identificere sig med dem og interessere sig for deres skæbne.

Joseph Blackstone rejser til New Zealand i 1864. Med sig har han sin mor Lilian og sin kone Harriet Salt. Harriet har været guvernante i forskellige familier, og det er Josephs løfte om at tage hende med til den anden ende af verden og en helt ny tilværelse, der får hende til at sige ja til hans frieri. Lilian rejser til gengæld kun med, fordi hun ikke har noget valg. Hun håber at blive i Christchurch, og da hun senere sidder og limer sine skårede kopper i tørvehuset, ønsker hun blot at være hjemme i Skotland med sin afdøde mand.

De prøver at få landbruget til at fungere, men de har ikke det, der skal til. De mangler den kapital, der gav Toby og Dorothy Orchard mulighed for at købe dyr og byggematerialer til at komme i gang. Og selvom Richard har både arbejdsevne og stædighed, så lytter han ikke nok til velmente råd. Huset ligger ikke rigtigt, de mister dyr til den første vinterkulde, og da han finder spor af guld i bækken, bruger han tid og energi på at grave efter mere.

Harriet bliver gode venner med Orchard-parret. Hun beundrer deres velordnede tilværelse med frie liv som farmere, og hun kommer også tæt på sønnen Edwin, der har en hemmelig pagt med den unge Maori-kvinde Pare. Toby havde ellers smidt hende ud, da hun havde ladt Edwin i stikken som spæd, men undertiden kommer hun tilbage og venter på ham i græsset. Forbindelsen er hemmelig, og kun Harriet får noget at vide om den.

1800-tallet var præget af en stribe guldgravereventyr i Californien, i Klondike og altså også på New Zealand. Da Joseph hører om guldfund på den modsatte side af Sydøen ved han, at han må afsted. Mens de fattigste og mest desperate mænd prøver at krydse de uvejsomme bjerge til fods, har han stadig penge nok til at købe udstyr og sejle, men det hjælper ham ikke meget ude i guldgraverfeltet. Alle håber på en ”hjemvender”, et fund så stort, at der er sikkerhed for et liv i sus og dus, men de færreste finder noget af værdi. Sådan er det også for Joseph, der i stedet sidder i sit telt, konfronteret med den skam han flygtede fra derhjemme.

Et liv med mudder, rotter og resultatløst arbejde er ingen dans på roser, men selvom Harriet havde vidst, hvordan det stod til, var hun nok fulgt efter Joseph alligevel. Deres ægteskab er stort set dødt, men hun har andre grunde til at opsøge ham – og til at søge endnu længere op af floden, hvor kineseren Chen Pao Li har etableret grøntsagshave. Guldgravere skal jo også spise, og som i Isabel Allendes Lykkens Datter er det dem, der forsyner lykkejægerne, som har størst chance for gevinst.

Det er ikke handling, der mangler i Guld. Rose Tremain udnytter sit dramatiske stof til at skrue et godt plot sammen, men jeg var alligevel skuffet over romanen. En historisk roman skal tage læseren med på sin rejse til fortidens fremmede land, og vi skal tro på, at de personer, vi møder der, er rigtige. Problemet var, at jeg hele tiden sad med en følelse af, at Joseph, Harriet og de andre ikke hørte til i 1800-tallet men var en moderne forfatters konstruktioner. ( )
  Henrik_Madsen | Mar 14, 2019 |
I probably would not have read this book if it wasn't on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list. I'll never read anything close to 1001 books from the list but I try to read 12 or so every year and I try to read ones that I think I will like. This book was suggested by the LibraryThing 1001 Books group to read in February 2019 and I thought it sounded like something I would like. And I did.

This book is set in New Zealand in 1864. Joseph and Harriet Blackstone and Joseph's mother Lilian have left Norfolk in England to start a farm on the South Island. Joseph was a cattle auctioneer and Harriet had worked as a governess in England. Joseph had decided to build a cob house, which is made of grass and mud pressed into bricks, and he chose a high location which would allow him to look down on his land. The men who helped him build the house recommended he build in a more sheltered spot but he ignored their advice. When the winter blizzards came snow built up around the house and suffocated their one milk cow since there was no shelter for it. Joseph wasn't paying too much attention to the farming aspect since he had seen some fine gold dust along the creek running through his property. More disasters occurred and Joseph decided that the best way to recoup was to join the gold rush on the other side of the South Island. He left by boat from Christchurch promising to be back before another winter came. Harriet and Lilian tried to save the crops and house but the house started to fall apart. Lilian had a heart attack trying to shore up the walls with sand bags and she died while Harriet was fetching the local doctor. Harriet decided to set out to find Joseph and tell him his mother was dead. After a false start she did make it to the gold fields where Joseph was not having any luck.

There is another sub plot about a Maori woman, Pare, who was governess to the young son of another local landowner. She was dismissed in disgrace when she abandoned her charge, Edwin, because she thought a monster was after her. For years after she would secretly visit Edwin and tell him Maori legends. Then she also left for the gold fields but she was after greenstone because she believed she had offended the gods and an offering was needed to appease them. Edwin seemed to receive thoughts from Pare and knew she was in trouble. He asked Harriet to look for her in the goldfields and Harriet did try.

The sub plot did not quite work in my opinion as it seemed too contrived. However it was interesting to get the Maori point of view about the gold rush. There was also another outsider who witnesses the way the white men behaved. Chen Pao Yi came to the gold fields from China to make his fortune but he did it by growing vegetables and selling them to the miners. He and Harriet had a love of gardening in common and soon they had more than that.

Elizabeth Catton's book The Luminaries came out some years after this book and it also was set on the gold fields of New Zealand. It won the Booker Prize so it was obviously viewed as a great book but to my mind this book was a better read. ( )
  gypsysmom | Feb 27, 2019 |
I very much enjoyed this historical fiction set during the New Zealand gold rush, late 1800s. If you like well-written historical fiction with a strong setting, good character development, and a strong female character, you'll probably like this. ( )
  japaul22 | Feb 16, 2019 |
The Colour by Rose Tremain is an exceedingly well written historical fiction novel with a strong story, well developed characters and an interesting setting. This is the story of Harriet and Joseph Blackstone who marry and come to New Zealand full of hope and determination to forge a homestead from the wilds of New Zealand’s Southern Island. Joseph’s mother, Lillian, is a reluctant addition to this small family, she despises the isolation and would far rather be making her home in the town of Christchurch. Joseph and Harriet barely know each other, Joseph needs a wife to help create the new life he envisions while Harriet is escaping her unmarried life as a governess.

The layers and secrets of each character are slowly revealed throughout the course of the story. Love never develops between Harriet and Joseph, instead Joseph loses both his head and his heart to gold fever and he eventually abandons both his mother and his wife for the gold fields. Harriet and Lillian carry on but their homestead is doomed. Harriet then follows Joseph to the gold fields but this strong and resourceful woman soon finds her life heading in a new direction.

The author delves deep into her characters to reveal their motivations, hopes and desires. We learn very quickly that Joseph lacks strength of character and purpose and that Harriet is very clever and has a core strength of iron. Joseph spends most of his time feeling regretful of all that he has done yet continues to avoid any confrontation. Harriet, who soon sees Joseph for what he is, is on a voyage of self-discovery. While the story is generally rather melancholy, the author writes in such a way that the reader is totally transported to late 19th Century New Zealand. The supporting characters are all realistic and interesting and help in building the layers that abound in this rich historical novel. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Feb 15, 2019 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 53 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
It's an engrossing novel, an adventure story with a sensitive side; Robert Louis Stevenson with a fit of the vapours. Since Tremain's writing is celebrated for its richness, its sensuousness, it's a relief to report that the comparatively muted colours of The Colour are no obstacle to her readability. If anything, they allow it to shine even more brightly.
 

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Tremain, Roseautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Bron, EleanorNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Gold diggings disorganise society, induce a moral blight, divert activity from saner enterprise and encourage a disagreeable immigration of the scum of China. ~ Lyttleton Times, New Zealand

Gold has been all in all to us. ~ West Coast Times, New Zealand
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For the Domino team, with all my love
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The coldest winds came from the south and the Cob House had been built in the pathway of the winds.
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Wikipédia em inglês (1)

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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