Auraria is a novel by Tim Westover that follows the adventures of Holtzclaw as he journeys to Auraria on behalf of his employer. His work is to buy up key pieces of property for Shadburn who has a gift for turning strange investments of land into profit.
Holtzclaw meets some very odd people and properties including a farm that is frozen beneath ice and snow while its owner tries to find gold in the nearby creek, and a pair of children who trade deeds in a house with an infinite number of floors. Auraria is a town that is consumed with the finding of gold and the people who live there don’t seem to be aware of the eccentricities and impossibilities that surround them.
While there are indeed some fascinating characters populating the pages of Auraria, they don’t make up for the fact that the novel moves at such glacial slowness that it is difficult to stay interested in what is going to happen next. The people of the book are caught up one their own plans and schemes and don’t seem to have much left over for the story that Westover is trying to tell.
The characters are finely drawn and all of them interesting, they just don’t do much. Even when things start happening that should start moving the plot forward, it seems that something else comes up that stops it again.
I can’t recommend this book to anyone except for the few who are solely interested in character even in the absence of plot.