24—The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey

Alfred A. Knopf, 2012

Horologist at London's Swinburne Museum, the beautiful Catherine Gehrig walks into her office one morning and learns that her lover of many years has died of a heart attack. She retreats to her office and breaks down. Her supervisor, Eric Croft, who, it turns out, had introduced her to Matthew Tindall, and the only one who knew they were lovers, consoles her and gives her a project. She is to reconstruct an automaton from the mid 1880s. Along with the pieces of the automaton, are the journals of Henry Blandling the Londoner, who commissioned the work and the man who travelled to Germany to have it made.

Cat gets caught up in the journals and as she assembles the automaton, the story moves in and out of present day and Brandling's 19th century story.

This is a slow-paced story which I found difficult to finish.

© Surveyor of the Passing Scene