In 1754, renowned maker of clocks and automata Abel Cloudesley must raise his new-born son Zachary when his wife dies in childbirth.
Growing up amongst the cogs and springs of his father’s workshop, Zachary is intensely curious, ferociously intelligent, unwittingly funny and always honest – perhaps too honest. But when a fateful accident leaves six-year-old Zachary nearly blinded, Abel is convinced that the safest place for his son is in the care of his eccentric Aunt Frances and her menagerie of weird and wonderful animals.
So when a precarious job in Constantinople is offered to him, Abel has no reason to say no. A job presented to him by a politician with dubious intentions, Abel leaves his son, his workshop and London behind. The decision will change the course of his life forever.
Since his accident, Zachary is plagued by visions that reveal the hearts and minds of those around him. A gift at times and a curse at others, it is nonetheless these visions that will help him complete a journey that he was always destined to make – to travel across Europe to Constantinople and find out what happened to his father all those years ago.
Thank you so much to the publishers for my gifted proof copy of The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley. A vibrant and rich read spanning Europe as Zachary Cloudesley, as a young man traverses the continent to Constantinople in search of his father. But lets go back a bit, the blurb tells you much of what you need to know, Zachart Cloudesley has visions of the past and future, but a gift of sight for sure. A tragic accident as a child meant he lost an eye, in his father’s workshop a new one was made for him, a fabulous jewel of gold, enamel and lapis lazuli. Serving only to create an air of mystery around the boy, something that serves him well when combined with his foresight.
A cast of colourful and somewhat eccentric characters, the glory of Constantinople and the search for his father, make this an interesting piece of historical fiction. Magnificent detail enabled me to visualise the cast, the location and of course the automata and this is a story I could see translating well to film.
Told in the third person narrative we meet Zachary at birth, when he survives but his mother tragically does not. The services of a wet nurse are swiftly secured; Mrs Morley who becomes a central person in Zachary’s life along with his rich, maternal aunt Francis who raises Zachary following his accident. The story is epic, the tale of a life lived and this is an engrossing read that I would recommend.
Thanks as always for reading.
About the Author
Sean Lusk is an award winning short story writer, winner of the Manchester Fiction Prize and the Fish Short Story Prize. He has lived in Greece, Pakistan and Egypt and now lives in the Scottish Highlands. The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley is his first novel.