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The Colour

The Colour

Author(s): Rose Tremain

Location(s): New Zealand

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical

Era(s): Mid 19th Century



This is a powerful drama of greed and aspiration set in the New Zealand Gold Rush of the mid-19th Century.
Tremain’s protagonists are Harriet and Joseph Baxter, who (along with Joseph’s mother) leave England for the promise of the new world that New Zealand represents. Needless to say, their relocation comes with many attendant (and nigh-insoluble) problems. But their struggle against the land continues apace until Joseph discovers gold in a nearby creek and ill-advisedly conceals the find from his mother and his wife. Gold fever takes an all-consuming grip upon him, and he leaves the family-owned farm to traverse the gold fields of the Southern Alps. There he will find a strange fate: one that affects those he has left behind as well as him.

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Lead Review

No doubt those who have been to New Zealand’s South Island (particularly in winter) will find this a satisfying book Bee Brooks –

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