It is a very quirky, unusual story of a man named Thaniel, short for Nathaniel. The setting in London is the 1880's.
Thaniel is a telegraphist who sits in an office every day sending and receiving telegraphs as a junior staff member. One day he goes home to his boarding house to find a pocket watch. He cannot open it. One day it opens while he is in a public building and he goes outdoors. At the same moment a bomb destroys the building he just walked out of.
Second character is Grace, a science student from Oxford. Women scientists were not accepted in the 1880's. All Grace wants to do is to live alone in her aunt's house, working on her science.
However she cannot inherit the house. Only her husband has the right to do that. She is not married. She needs a husband in order to get the house.
Third main character is Mori. More is a Japanese watchmaker. Not only is he a watchmaker he is an exquisite watchmaker, the best watchmaker...and he can see the future at times.
All of the characters meet up and have a most interesting life. I won't say more but if you want to read, what I thought a very well written book with the most unusual, quirky plot then this is the book.
Oh, yes, don't forget the mechanical octopus that lives with these people as well. He is very much his own character and I became quite attached to him.
Now, for the exciting news. A friend of mine from Florida who I used to work with when I lived there, and I are going on a one month road trip of England and Ireland. Well, I should say part of England. The Cornwall area, along the north coast. We want to see where Doc Martin is filmed and maybe get as far as Land's End at the west side of Cornwall. I have been to John O'Groats in Scotland previously so it would be nice to say I had been to Land's End. Then we are going to double back to Wales, probably near Cardiff and then head to Hay on Wye to see all the wonderful bookshops.
From there we will head to the west coast of Wales most likely, though this could change depending on the recommendation of locals. We will end up in Holyhead, take the fast ferry to Dublin and then spend two weeks in Ireland. We pick up our car at Heathrow and off we go. We are going to stay away from the big cities and focus on the villages and countryside.
I am going to try to not collect too many Penguin books on the way but if I do see those books within the first 1000, that are first published Penguins and not too costly, well...who knows.
I will put some photos of book shops and any other bookish news or maybe just stunning scenery on this blog. I will also be posting photos on Instagram and Facebook so my husband, who is kindly taking care of home and hearth and animals can see where we end up.
The other good news is the Travellin' Penguin will be going too. I have brushed the winter dust off both of us and he will be in some of the photos too. So watch out for him. I will have to kick him out of his warm bed in the morning, get some porridge into him and get him moving. He can be a lazy sod at times. But so far he is ready to go. Please join us on this journey.