The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

by Natasha Pulley

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the reader on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles long-standing traditions, and beyond. Blending historical events with dazzling flights of fancy, it opens doors to a strange and magical past.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620408346
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 05/03/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 171,794
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Natasha Pulley studied English literature at Oxford University and earned a creative writing MA at the University of East Anglia. Pulley lives near Ely in Cambridgeshire, England. This is her first novel.

Customer Reviews

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The Watchmaker of Filigree Street 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I simply became obsessed with this book. I found the characters so intriguing I wanted to jump into their world and see what was going to happen next. This book is worth your time and money!
InvestedIvana More than 1 year ago
There is so much going on in this book that it’s hard to isolate just a few things I liked. I’ll talk about a couple here, but there are so many great parts in this book. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street sets a touching love story against a historic time of social and political unrest — Irish terrorists are bombing London in protest of British rule; women in England and other parts of the world are dissatisfied with their inability to vote and restricted independence; and Japan’s feudal and agrarian society is fighting a losing battle against the influence of Western culture and technology. After doing a little web surfing, I discovered that a lot of the history relayed in the book is accurate, including the bombings that are central to the story. I find historical fiction much more impressive when it can deliver a mostly-accurate history lesson at the same time it’s entertaining. Another part of this story I appreciated was the subtle descriptions of what true love really looks like. In one part of the story, Mori encourages Thaniel, who has synesthesia, to draw and paint when he sees when he listens to music. Mori insists on hanging the drawings on the wall, even though Thaniel believes they are worthless. Mori describes Thaniel’s drawings as much more interesting than the paintings he just bought by that depressed Dutchmen (referring to, I’m assuming, Van Gogh). In another part of the book, when Mori visits Grace and Thaniel’s new home, he is obviously unhappy that the music room is unfinished and there is no piano, though Grace’s laboratory in the basement is completely finished. Later, the reader learns that Mori sees Thaniel as a pianist while Grace sees him as an ordinary man who occasionally plays the piano. This makes a difference to Thaniel and affects his future choices. These are subtle parts of the story, but they say quite a lot about the relationships between the characters. There is also the sock-stealing clockwork octopus, the cheeky workhouse orphan, the way clairvoyance is imagined, the wide range of diversity in the story, and the scientific cleverness displayed at the end. I can’t say more without giving too much away, but you’ll know what I mean when you read it. :) This is just a fraction of what is so fascinating about The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. There are layers and layers of personal and social commentary in this book that, though presented in a historical setting, are so appropriate for today’s culture. Really there isn’t much about this story I didn’t like. I only want to note that it is a slow, quiet story. For some people, slow and quiet stories can be hard to read and even harder to hear. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed this story, I found my attention wandering at times. But if you like the slow and quiet story, then give this book a try. It’s pretty impressive. Copy provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. Review courtesy of onebooktwo.com | one book, two reviews.
Aiwe More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of this from Netgalley. I almost didn't get this one because I have read so many 'steampunk' books that have let me down. I was worried that this one would be just another fad book. Couldn't have been more wrong. This book was really wonderful. It does not have a lot of steampunk in it, it does have some very cool clockwork (I NEED a clockwork octopus please!), but the story is geared more on the characters rather than trying to show off inventions. The characters are very likeable. I felt drawn into the story pretty quickly once I had been introduced to the main players. I cared about what happened to them. The story itself is pretty original and has some good turns. I would highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction, steampunk or fantasy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book! The story kept you engaged and loved how the events transpired.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very interesting story involving mystery, intrigue, and cool gadgets! Really well written and interesting characters. Hope there will be more books involving these characters!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very pleased with the writing style and storyline.
taramichelle More than 1 year ago
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street had actually been on my TBR for ages. It was one of those books that I kept debating picking up whenever I saw it in a bookstore but never actually did. When I got sent a copy for review, I was so excited that I actually ended up finishing it the day after it arrived. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street was a wonderful blend of magical realism and historical fiction. There was even a mystery that kept me fully engaged and intrigued. The writing was absolutely beautiful and quirky. While the pace was somewhat slow, I loved how fully fleshed out and developed both the world and the characters were. I wasn't quite sure how the various storylines would come together but Natasha Pulley managed to bring them all together for a finale that was at once infinitely complex and simple. I could see how each action taken or choice made throughout the novel contributed to where the characters found themselves. Thaniel was an interesting protagonist and I enjoyed seeing how his story unfolded. His character development was a joy to watch. Mori was a wonderful character, a whimsical and brilliant inventor. I must admit that Katsu stole the show though (if anyone knows where I can obtain a clockwork octopus, please message me). I wasn't as big of a fan of Grace but understood the role she played. And yes, there was romance and I loved it. I would recommend this unique story to anyone looking for a whimsical and entertaining tale. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is one of my favorite books that I've read in a while. *Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
taramichelle More than 1 year ago
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street had actually been on my TBR for ages. It was one of those books that I kept debating picking up whenever I saw it in a bookstore but never actually did. When I got sent a copy for review, I was so excited that I actually ended up finishing it the day after it arrived. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street was a wonderful blend of magical realism and historical fiction. There was even a mystery that kept me fully engaged and intrigued. The writing was absolutely beautiful and quirky. While the pace was somewhat slow, I loved how fully fleshed out and developed both the world and the characters were. I wasn't quite sure how the various storylines would come together but Natasha Pulley managed to bring them all together for a finale that was at once infinitely complex and simple. I could see how each action taken or choice made throughout the novel contributed to where the characters found themselves. Thaniel was an interesting protagonist and I enjoyed seeing how his story unfolded. His character development was a joy to watch. Mori was a wonderful character, a whimsical and brilliant inventor. I must admit that Katsu stole the show though (if anyone knows where I can obtain a clockwork octopus, please message me). I wasn't as big of a fan of Grace but understood the role she played. And yes, there was romance and I loved it. I would recommend this unique story to anyone looking for a whimsical and entertaining tale. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is one of my favorite books that I've read in a while. *Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the way she weaves the characters from the beginning through suspense to the ending. A good read.
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eReeder More than 1 year ago
This book is just a wonderful, delightful read. I highly recommend it. I read it on vacation and I actually wanted to stay in the room to finish it instead of going out to see the resort!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!
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KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The Watchmaker on Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley is a Victorian steampunk mystery novel. Nathaniel “Thaniel” Steepleton is a telegraph operator at Whitehall (government). He has held the position for the last four years. Thaniel prefers playing the piano, but it did not pay enough to support himself and his widowed sister, Annabel (who lives in Edinburgh with her two sons). The government have been receiving threats of bombs from Clan na Gael. Everyone is on alert and preparing for the worst. One night Thaniel arrives home to his room at the boarding house to find the door open, the dishes done and put away (not by the landlady). Thaniel then spies a gift box with his name on it. Inside is a beautiful pocket watch. It does not open and he cannot hear it working. Two months later it starts working and saves Thaniel. A loud noise comes from the watch making him go outside and saves him from a bomb. Thaniel goes looking for the creator of the watch. Grace Carrow is at the end of her fourth and final year at Oxford. She has a beautiful watch with filigree that looks like swallows flying. Grace inherited a house from her aunt, but she cannot have it unless she marries (it is being held in trust by her father). Grace loves science. She wants to do research and to teach. Her mother, Lady Carrow is determined Grace will marry and make a good match. Grace has money, a house, and needs a husband who will allow her experiments. Thaniel and Grace are destined to meet for good or for bad? Keita Moiri makes items out of clockworks. He made the watch for Thaniel and Grace. He has many beautiful items in his shop. There is also a clockwork octopus named Katsu. Katsu likes to live in a dresser drawer and steal socks. Keita has a special talent. Thaniel is not sure what to make of Keita when he first meets him. He thinks Keita might be behind the bombings (the maker of the bombs). Thaniel is tasked with keeping an eye on Keita and to get evidence. Keita has a room to rent and Thaniel moves in (Katsu really likes Thaniel’s dresser). Thaniel really gets to know Keita and finds out about his talent (and innocence). Thaniel now has to save Keita from the police (who are determined to pin the bombings on him) and find the real culprit. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a complicated novel. I have only given you a small snippet of what happens in the novel. It is an interesting book, but there are too many ideas shoved into one story (hard to keep track of all the characters and everything that is going on). There are also a lot of technical, scientific terms and explanations that will give you a headache. The book gets better towards the end (if you get that far) and the identity of the bomb maker is easily figured out. What Grace does, though, is definitely a shock and unexpected (sorry, spoiler)! I give The Watchmaker of Filigree Street 3.5 out of 5 stars. I received a complimentary copy of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read with interesting characters Well written Never a dull moment. You will enjoy this book if you like sci fi gizmos and intrigue in a historical context. The reviewer before me loved the book, but gave it a one ONE STAR rating ....?..... Go figure
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this novel so much!