Set in late Victorian London, with side trips to Oxford and Japan, the book mainly follows Thaniel Steepleton, a telegrapher for the British Home Office. One evening, he receives a report of a bomb threat from Irish separatists and later that same night, he goes home to find a gold pocket watch lying on his bed, with no clue how it got there. When the promised bomb goes off, Thaniel ought to be standing in its path, but the watch comes to life with a well-timed alarm that saves him. Thaniel tracks down its maker and finds Keita Mori, a Japanese expatriate and mechanical genius who can also see into the future. Soon, Thaniel’s destiny is linked with that of Mr Mori and Oxford student Grace Carrow, an oddball who is researching the existence of luminiferous ether.
Our book lovers’ comments were interesting and varied ranging from finding the novel compelling and fascinating to silly and contrived. Most felt the novel was crammed with too many elements and the characters were a bit uneven in the depth of their development. Whilst some thought the book was badly written others forgave the author’s youth and suggested her haphazard styles were perhaps a result of the workshops attended and the variety of methods she studied. Some felt she had potential and would like to read more of her books whilst others didn’t manage to (or didn’t want to) finish this one!
Ratings: Claudia 2.5 DNF, Gail DNF, Janet 3.5, Judith 3, Kim 1.5, Lynda 3.5, Margie 2, Nicola 3, Pauline 2 and Viv 3.
Our last meeting of the year will be 9/12/19 at 6:30PM at Preece House, 50 Nerang St Bischof Pioneer Park, Nerang (next to 54 Nerang St. shops) to discuss Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
Hope to see you all there and happy reading!
We are a group that gets together once a month to discuss good books. Each of us gets to choose a book on a rotational basis, preferably one outside our personal comfort zone – we try to keep the trash to ourselves. After the discussion, we comment on other books we read that month. Most of the time we remain friends after the meeting.
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