The Luminist by David Rocklin
A Novel

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Synopsis

IN COLONIAL INDIA, at a time of growing friction between the ruling British and the restless Indian populace, a Victorian woman and her young Tamil Indian servant defy convention, class, and heartbreak to investigate what is gained - and lost - by holding life still. Suggested by the life and work of photographic pioneer Julia Margaret Cameron, The Luminist filters 19th century Ceylon through the lens of an English woman, Catherine Colebrook and a 15 year old Tamil boy, Eligius Shourie. Left fatherless by soldiers, Eligius is brought as a servant to the Colebrooks' neglected estate. In the shadow of Catherine's obsession to arrest beauty - to select a moment from the thousands comprising her life in Ceylon and hold it apart from mere memory - Eligius transforms into her apprentice in the creation of the first haunting photographs in history.
 

About David Rocklin

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David Rocklin: David Rocklin grew up in Chicago. He graduated from Indiana University with a BA in Literature. After attending law school, he pursued a career as an in-house attorney and continues to serve as a mediator. He lives in California with his wife and children. This is his first novel. Jacquelyn Mitchard was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 10, 1957. She studied creative writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1976, she became a journalist and eventually achieved the position as lifestyle columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper. Her weekly column, The Rest of Us: Dispatches from the Mother Ship, appeared in 125 newspapers nationwide until she retired it in 2007. She is the author of children's, young adult, and adult books. Her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was the first selection for Oprah's Book Club and was named by USA Today as one of the ten most influential books of the past 25 years. It was also adapted into a movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Her other adult novels include The Breakdown Lane; Twelve Times Blessed; Christmas, Present; A Theory of Relativity; The Most Wanted; Cage of Stars; and Still Summer. Her children's books include Starring Prima!: The Mouse of the Ballet Jolie; Rosalie, My Rosalie: The Tale of a Duckling; and Ready, Set , School! Her young adult books include Now You See Her; All We Know of Heaven; and The Midnight Twins series.
 
Published October 11, 2011 by Hawthorne Books. 324 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Luminist

Kirkus Reviews

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As sorcerer’s apprentice, Eligius, the family’s 15-year old Tamil servant, not only facilitates her work but is compelled into a dangerous fascination with the Colebrooks—Catherine, his mother figure and aesthetic soul mate, daughter Julia, a Pre-Raphaelite lovely he adores from afar, and father,...

Sep 20 2011 | Read Full Review of The Luminist: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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The book is beautifully written, especially the scenes where Eligius works with Catherine in her experiments, while scenes of escalating political unrest and the impossibility of either side finding a reasonable solution to their differences are less effective, even if historically accurate.

Aug 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Luminist: A Novel

ForeWord Reviews

The Luminist, by David Rocklin, explores the struggle to find one’s place in the world when confined by society to an ill-fitting role in which one’s dreams and abilities outshine what is acceptable—and what it means to break free from that imprisonment.

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