All seems calm in Castleton, New Zealand, but its small-town respectability hides guilty secrets and a tumult of rebellion. This is the story of three families, each dominated by a patriarch: the snobbish lawyer; the eccentric aristocrat; and the Maori chief, who meet to play three-handed chess. Their children and grandchildren begin to recognise that their seemingly strucAll seems calm in Castleton, New Zealand, but its small-town respectability hides guilty secrets and a tumult of rebellion. This is the story of three families, each dominated by a patriarch: the snobbish lawyer; the eccentric aristocrat; and the Maori chief, who meet to play three-handed chess. Their children and grandchildren begin to recognise that their seemingly structured, ordered society is slowly disintegrating . . .Which of them will escape and fulfil their dreams? And why is someone prowling the town with murderous intent?Set in New Zealand between the wars, Mortmain is comic, eccentric, accomplished and poignant....
|Number of Pages||:||288 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Mortmain focuses on the lives and families of three men who meet regularly to play chess in a small town in New Zealand between the wars: Edward Wilson, the local lawyer, troubled my financial and sexual worries; Euclid Wrench, the younger son of an earl, a man so obsessed with the classical world that he insists his children speak Ancient Greek one day a week; and Te Mara, the local Maori chief, who treasures an empty box that his grandchildren believe holds a medal awarded to their dead father during the war.With a forensic eye for detail, Judy Corbalis burrows deep into the life of the community, uncovering the secrets that everyone hides, the lies that they tell themselves and others. Ethel, perhaps the most sympathetic character in the book, could be speaking for the author when she says, ‘there often aren’t any proper rules. But everything’s really only layers, isn’t it?’ This is a novel about the way the dead hand of the past stifles expectations and snuffs out possibilities. The picture of inter-wars colonial life that it paints is claustrophobic, compelling but ultimately optimistic as the younger generation struggle to find their own solutions to the limitations of their society. Along the way idealism must be brought down to earth and prejudices discarded.
I really enjoyed this book. The writing is evocative and the unfolding story-line was so engrossing that I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen next. I was a little disappointed with the last third of the book which descended into a bit of a 'whodunit', but it righted itself towards the end.