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.
I picked up The Watchmaker of Filigree Street at the airport based solely on the beauty of the cover. After reading the blurb I knew I couldn’t walk away. The entire thing intrigued me, and the flight home was all the better for it. For a novel I that knew little about before I read it, it really exceeded any expectations I did have.
Thaniel Steepleton seems like the kind of character that things just don’t happen to. So when his apartment is broken into and a mysterious pocketwatch is left on his pillow, Thaniel isn”t sure what to think. That is until the pocket watch saves his life and Thaniel decides to investigate. From here, you step – with Thaniel – into the world of Mori Keita, a Japanese watchmaker.
It is difficult not to get completely caught up in the world and characters that Natasha Pulley has created here. The intricacies of the story are carefully crafted so that the story unfolds slowly but surely, and in such a way that you easily get happily lost there. So much so that the ending creeps up on you when you least want it to. As you want to stay with those characters as long as possible.
There is something so enchanting about the way that Pulley draws you in enough to hold you there and carry you gently through the story. There is a beautiful charm to her words that makes you feel welcome within the story itself, but still keeps the secrects needed to keep you wondering. Some of the secrets are not only held by the text but the characters as well as they try and navigate mysteries as well as their own feelings. The romances that unfold slowly and carefully through the pages of the novel help for revelations nearing the end to be gently and beautifully revealed. There is nothing forced about it, something which has helped this novel to become one of my favourites.
Pulley builds her characters in this novel in such a way that you not only want to follow their journey, but you also want understand the way that they are, and why. There are little nuances to each character that bring them out of the page, and that can make you both love them and question them at the same time. It is these little mysteries that cause you to stay invested right to the end.
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street really is something special. The story and characters have stuck with me since the day I first read this novel. The unique charm, and intricate mystery makes The Watchmaker of Filigree Street a must read for anyone who is ready to let themselves get completely caught up in a beautifully crafted story.