From my bookshelf


By Natasha Pulley

 The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is the debut novel by Natasha Pulley, who has since written a new novel which came out this summer, The Bedlam Stacks.  The Watchmaker of Filigree Street was (amongst other awards and nominations) a Guardian Summer Read, and was shortlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel award.  Natasha Pulley studied English Literature at Oxford University, and, after working in Waterstones, studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, and she later studied in Tokyo.


 It is set in London, in Oxford and in Tokyo in the mid to late 1800s.  After work one day, Thaniel Steepleton, a telegraphist at the Home Office, returns home to his flat where he lives alone, to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. 

The Home Office has just received a threat about a Fenian bomb which could be the largest such bomb attack in history.


 When the pocket watch saves Thaniel’s life, there are questions to be answered, and Thaniel sets off to find the watches’ maker – not difficult as the craftmanship is very distinctive.  Thaniel arrives at the Watchmaker’s shop, in Filigree Street, and there he meets Keita Mori, a Japanese immigrant.  As their friendship develops, Thaniel is swept into a world of clockwork and music, yet senses that there is something Keita is keeping from him.


 Meanwhile, Grace Carrow, a student at Oxford University, is carrying out experiments, while dressed as a man, in a science lab in the University.  She knows full well that her mother is more than keen for her to marry, and she is desperate to prove the existence of luminiferous ether before that happens, and her studies cease.


 Over time, the lives of these characters become entwined, with outcomes that will keep you guessing until the end.  Just who is Keita Mori, and how can many unusual occurrences be explained?  How does he know certain things? 


         An unusual book, which draws the reader into an unusual world.


                             I hope you enjoy it, and The Bedlam Stacks


Yours, Lindsay



Coming up in the next edition ….


The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge.  Following the death of her father in strange circumstances, Faith finds a strange tree …