Thrice now in bookshops I have tried to pick up Eleanor Catton's much-hyped first novel, The Rehearsal, and each time I have not been able to get past the second page. The dialogue seemed painfully contrived and showy.
And yet, her latest short story Pawn Broken, set against the New Zealand gold rush, makes for an impressive read.
Victoria - the word alone was a promise, exultant, queenly, and wrapped around that triumphant syllable - ore.
By the end of the story, you will discover that the title holds a double meaning.