Here is my first Chunkster Challenge read.
Genre: Historical novel
Year of publication: 1988
Setting & time: England and Australia, 1850s and 60s
Page count: 520
In 1865 an English Anglican minister and an Australian heiress, both of them gambling addicts, meet aboard a passenger ship to Australia and this meeting leads to a strange and fateful wager. But before coming to that point, we get to see how they became who they are and how each became addicted to gambling and all the little things that brought them together.
This is one of those long, juicy novels that a reader can immerse themselves in without feeling compelled to read it in a single sitting. There is nothing inherently thrilling in it (until towards the end when the wager is made), but the slowly unfolding story and wonderfully realistic characters Carey has created and stocked the book with provide an entertaining and juicy read. 4+ stars.
Awards: The Booker Prize, 1988.