〉Natasha Pulley’s debut novel The Watchmaker of Filigree Street has hit the market.
The pitch sounds particularly interesting: “In 1883, Thaniel Steepleton returns to his tiny London flat to find a gold pocketwatch on his pillow. But he has bigger things to worry about than generous burglars; he is a telegraphist at the Home Office, which has just received a bomb threat. Six months later, the mysterious watch saves Thaniel’s life in a blast that destroys Scotland Yard, and at last, he goes in search of its maker – a kind Japanese man called Keita Mori who has the ability to tell the future. Then physicist Grace Carrow enters the scene and as their lives become entwined, events spiral out of Thaniel’s control. Time, destiny, genius – and a clockwork octopus – collide in this ravishing debut literary fantasy.”
As Pulley’s debut, this novel showcases her talent for elegant prose and her love of speculative fiction. Having taught in China and studied at Oxford University and UEA, she aptly uses her life experience to create a variety of characters, and her life in China has given her a true appreciation for the life of a foreigner, which she demonstrates with her watchmaking character, Mori. She is currently learning Japanese, thereby further expanding her repertoire, and with this novel she has shown great potential for a promising career.
Likened to the works of Susanna Clarke, Philip Pullman, David Mitchell and Neil Gaiman, this novel offers a variety of paths for visual media. The small cast of characters could translate well into a film similar to the 1960 Time Machine, but the story’s various plotlines and action-packed ending could work just as well in the form of a miniseries. Whatever the medium, this novel will surely offer a rich world and story to work with.
Kat Spanners | Staff Writer