The Hourglass Factory



Amid The Drama Of The Suffragette Movement In Edwardian London, The Disappearance Of A Famous Trapeze Artist In The Middle Of Her Act Leads A Young Fleet Street Reporter To An Underworld Of Circus Performers, Fetishists, And Society ColumnistsLondon, The Suffragette Movement Is Reaching A Fever Pitch, And Inspector Frederick Primrose Is Hunting A Murderer On His Beat Across Town, Fleet Street Reporter Frances Frankie George Is Chasing An Interview With Trapeze Artist Ebony Diamond Frankie Finds Herself Fascinated By The Tightly Laced Acrobat And Follows Her To A Bond Street Corset Shop That Seems To Be Hiding Secrets Of Its Own When Ebony Diamond Mysteriously Disappears In The Middle Of A Performance, Frankie And Primrose Are Both Drawn Into The Shadowy World Of A Secret Society With Ties To Both London S Criminal Underworld And Its Glittering SocialitesHow Did Ebony Vanish, Who Was She Afraid Of, And What Goes On Behind The Doors Of The Mysterious Hourglass Factory From Newsrooms To The Drawing Rooms Of High Society, The Investigation Leads Frankie And Primrose To A Murderous Villain With A Plot Deadly Than Anyone Could Have ImaginedThe Hourglass Factory

I m a dance and fiction writer based in Edinburgh Many moons ago I studied English at the University of St Andrews, and later Shakespearean Studies at Kings College London and Shakespeare s Globe I then embarked on a strange and waggly career path organising parties at a boutique cinema in London, working for Al Jazeera television network, freelance writing while living in Spain, and later coordinating the National Trust for Scotland s annual cruises where I worked onboard a ship, swam with icebergs, set foot on St Kilda, and finally learned how to ceilidh dance.I won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2013, and now work as a freelance dance journalist and adult education tutor, alongside fiction writing When I m not doing any of those things I like to make origami jewellery out of old book paper.I have a retired greyhound called Buster whom you will see a lot of if you follow me on Twitter.Picture credit Kuba Kolinski

[Ebook] The Hourglass Factory By Lucy Ribchester – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Kindle Edition
  • 513 pages
  • The Hourglass Factory
  • Lucy Ribchester
  • English
  • 04 June 2019

10 thoughts on “The Hourglass Factory

  1. says:

    Wow there have been some good books coming out in 2015 and this one was breathtaking If you like history that is well researched, relatable characters that are complex a believable yet unlikable villain and complex understandings of issues woven together with fast paced plot, only the barest hint of maybe romanc.no they are just friendsI think Then I heartily recommend this almost perfect book.It will broaden your mind as it takes you through lushly coloured but not tiresomely over e Wow there have been some good books coming out in 2015 and this one was breathtaking If you like history that is well researched, relatable characters that are complex a believable yet unlikable villain and complex understandings of issues woven together with fast paced plot, only the barest hint of maybe romanc.no they are just friendsI think Then I heartily recommend this almost perfect book.It will broaden your mind as it takes you through lushly coloured but not tiresomely over explained settings There is some awful stuff in there, the suffragette man getting force fed in gaol made me actually burst into tears even though I was on the bus.That s the other thing, even though the book is about females who talk to females and interact with females and fight for females anyone want to apply a Bechdel test and some of the minor characters are horrid narrow minded sexist men, there are also sweet lovable male characters that you emotionally invest in AND at least a couple of horrid power hungry women who you hate So absolutely a feminist book but absolutely NOT one sided or misandrist I would give this to my son to read no problem Even if you just like action with costumes and settings.I mean this book just had so much to give I would have enjoyed an actual sex scene between Frankie and Milly but maybe they were just friends The uncertainty there is also exquisite I will be voting for this book on some list at the end of the year AND I will be seeking outRibchester to read

  2. says:

    This has taken me over a month to read, it was so hard going The worst of it is, though, that there is nothing i can point to to say this was bad , but at the same time, not much i can point to to say this was good It wasn t so exciting or engrossing that i wanted to pick it up to keep reading, but it wasn t so bad that i just wanted to give up altogether I wanted to have read it, i just didn t want to read it And in some ways, that s worse than just disliking a book enough to not finish This has taken me over a month to read, it was so hard going The worst of it is, though, that there is nothing i can point to to say this was bad , but at the same time, not much i can point to to say this was good It wasn t so exciting or engrossing that i wanted to pick it up to keep reading, but it wasn t so bad that i just wanted to give up altogether I wanted to have read it, i just didn t want to read it And in some ways, that s worse than just disliking a book enough to not finish it.The plot meandered, with the characters fumbling from one clue to the next, not really figuring anything out until it was put right in front of their noses And never actually finding the missing Ebony instead she finds them The end culminates in action packed fashion, but mostly i didn t care, unfortunately.There was just so much to like about this book but it was so lacklustre and mediocre I m annoyed with it for not being what i had hoped it would be.A longer review can be read at my book blog Marvel At Words

  3. says:

    2 stars might be harsh It s an interesting time period 1914 London and concept murder mystery wrapped in women s suffrage movement but it was unnecessarily long and complicated, filled with characters who were never fully developed So much potential, unrealized.

  4. says:

    From time to time you come across a book that is a real gem A book that firstly you have a good feeling about and secondly, this good feeling turns out to be right A book where everything fits together perfectly characters, background, plot, writing style And I m happy to report that The Hourglass Factory is such a book It s a debut novel by Lucy Ribchester, and it is an awesome debut, I wouldn t say that it is her first book as it s written in such a confident, clever, sharp writing st From time to time you come across a book that is a real gem A book that firstly you have a good feeling about and secondly, this good feeling turns out to be right A book where everything fits together perfectly characters, background, plot, writing style And I m happy to report that The Hourglass Factory is such a book It s a debut novel by Lucy Ribchester, and it is an awesome debut, I wouldn t say that it is her first book as it s written in such a confident, clever, sharp writing style And the book landed on my doorstep wrapped in The London Evening Gazette What a lovely, brilliant idea London 1912 A young journalist Frankie George is determined to make a name for herself in a world dominated by men Unfortunately, she s sent again on doing a portrait of Ebony Diamond, a trapeze artist But things don t go according to Frankie s plan When a woman identified as Ebony is found murdered, Frankie sees that it s not Miss Diamond and is determined to find her She follows her to a show in a circus, but Ebony disappears from the scene in the middle of her trapeze performance Frankie is sure that Ebony is in danger and so she sets on finding her again, which leads her to the world of circus, suffragettes, corsets, murders, unexpected new friends and many, many dark secrets Is she going to find Ebony in time And who is really in danger And who is the real murderer The Hourglass Factory is set in an era that belongs to one of my favourite historical ones it s either this or Henry VIIIIt s 1912 in London and the author must have done her research, as she brilliantly recreates atmosphere of those times She describes the foggy, dark streets in a very vivid, realistic way, it almost felt not like reading a book but watching a film The early 20th century is also the time of suffragettes fighting to obtain the vote possibilities for women, and oh my gosh, I am so going to read muchon this I learned a lot from this book but it also made me long to learn stillabout those times It was not only Suffragettes, but also the men s movement going strong, the happenings in prisons, force feeding etc amazing, unbelievable but true and I wantThe beginning was very long and there were moments that it felt a little slow, but believe me, it was necessary to understand the book and get into it, into the atmosphere and times, and feel a part of the story ourselves To be honest, the beginning had me in very sour giggles Why Well, everything is set for the Suffragettes big stunt in the British government, it s going to be a big news, but in the end it isn t Why One word Titanic Bad luck or what Frankie wants so much to cover the real stories, and not those fluffy stories from women s boudoirs but although she s sharp, clever, observative, wears trousers and smokes cigarettes, nobody takes her serious So it was really no wonder she wanted to follow her instinct and find out what really is going on with Ebony, even if there were moments that her interest seemedlike obsession or unhealthy curiosity Nevertheless, hats off to Frankie for her determination and detective skills What I also spotted, and well, it s not a problem in fact, and it didn t spoil the reading, but it seemed that on every corner there was a right person who could help Frankie in whatever she needed Amazing connections did the girl have , and everything seemed to come to her in a very easy way But she was a great woman I in fact really admire all the women of those times who were incredibly brave, courageous and weren t afraid to put their foot down There was something masculine in them, they wanted to dress like men, they wanted to have as many rights as men CORRECT but they were lovely and very womanly For example our Frankie dressing in the suit, she absolutely wants to make a name for herself in the magazine, but not writing a column for women, but as a reporter Quickly she sees that in this men world it s not so easy and all the great, interesting and important assignments go to her male colleagues Does she give up on her dream Of course not, and I so loved her determination, her will to prove that she s worth as much as any other good male reporter There were, like, thousands different characters in the book and at first, with every new person introduced, I felt a little confused, but then it was easy to keep on track, as only a few of them were the main and most important ones.I know that Frankie was the main characters, but to be honest, getting to know the other characters made me like them eventhan Miss George Ebony was for a long time so secretive and mysterious and I was desperate to know her and her story much , and when Frankie and Millie were always a step behind her made me almost howl with desperation Millie was so colourful, she chosen a very different life path to that that many of us would expect her to choose, and she was so likeable and so easy to connect with The policemen engaged in the case were so different and I would never say that they are doing the same investigation, each of them concentrated on so different leads, but this made the reading eveninteresting They were all colourful and full of live, and I always think that people in those times were much braver than we are now They were clever, intelligent and they wasn t afraid to say things how they are The characters in the background, such as the society columnist Frankie was working with, Twinkle, or Frankie s work colleagues, or Millie s mother, they all took their lives in their own hands, and were just popping out of the pages and felt so very realistic Each, even the smallest character, had found a place in this story and added something to the plot.The plot was so very complex one and so very well thought out and kept you guessing To be totally honest, I haven t expected at least half of the things that happened in the book It took me by surpriseoften than I care to count and almost every page brought something new and something exotic The author wrote about the world of circus, performances, tigers and snakes in such a vivid, colourful and engaging way that I would love to see this all again, with my own eyes in 1912 It was amazing how one thing led to another and how Frankie gradually discovered all the missing points and facts, finally taking us into the world of Hourglass Factory and fetishists Now maybe not so exciting, this fetishist thing, but in 1912 it was for sure a big, scandalous and exotic thing The story felt as if it had thousand subplots, I really got a headache and must have concentrated hard on keeping on track, how did the author kept track of this all I don t know, but hats off, as it was done brilliantly and every subplot has found its solution and was developed in the most perfect way.I loved the way Lucy Ribchester portrayed London of those times, city of chaos and suffragettes breaking the shop windows but making it a point of honour not to hurt any human being She has also wonderfully pictured mentality of people living in those times, the way how they were thinking and what they were thinking, both men and women, and I found myself reading and reading, and not being able to put this book down, because I wanted to knowabout history, and about the plot.Even if the author herself admitted she was playing with the historical facts a little, it was neither visible nor disturbed the reading No, it was full of the right atmosphere and all those accurate details, that are so essential to historical fiction Good historical fiction, I would add.This book was truly astounding and like I said, I can t believe it s a debut novel, so matured it is, so completed It has immediately drawn me into the world, the characters, the events and I didn t want to voluntarily leave that world I loved everything in this book and I am going to recommend it to all my friends and family There was everything that I could wish for in a book brilliantly created atmosphere, fantastic times, vivid characters, mystery, drama but also a lot of dark and sharp humour Full of twist and turns, surprises and gasps from me I really can t wait what the author has in store for us and will be stalking Miss Ribchester daily.Copy received from publisher in exchange for a review

  5. says:

    This is historical fiction with a mystery and lots of action I really liked it.Set in 1912 in London Frankie George is an up and coming reporter trying to make her way in a man s world She is tasked with getting a profile of suffragettes, specifically Ebony Diamond a trapeze artist who is causing havoc.She s a bit resentful of this until Ebony goes missing and it all gets a bitdangerous two people have been murdered and Ebony is in danger.With the help of unlikely allies Frankie delve This is historical fiction with a mystery and lots of action I really liked it.Set in 1912 in London Frankie George is an up and coming reporter trying to make her way in a man s world She is tasked with getting a profile of suffragettes, specifically Ebony Diamond a trapeze artist who is causing havoc.She s a bit resentful of this until Ebony goes missing and it all gets a bitdangerous two people have been murdered and Ebony is in danger.With the help of unlikely allies Frankie delves deeper to solve the mystery, torn between a fantastic scoop and telling the truth in the face of adversity.I liked the characters Frankie took a while to warm up to as she is tempestuous and arrogant but we got there and the story moved at an excellent pace I wasn t as keen on the sections from Inspector Primrose but they did add an extra insight to the story and showedof the attitudes to the suffragettes at the time.I enjoyed learningabout the suffragette movement and would recommend this story to anyone who likes well rounded characters, a mystery and historical background rolled into one

  6. says:

    We re not long into 2015 but I know this is going to be on my top reads this year My review won t do The Hourglass Factory justice I ve always been interested in the Suffragettes since doing a project on Emmeline Pankhurst at school and The Hourglass Factory gives this life One scene in the dock made an impression on me How archaic it all seems through the eyes of today Travelling around with Frankie on foot gave me plenty of opportunities to visualise society and how it may have been The s We re not long into 2015 but I know this is going to be on my top reads this year My review won t do The Hourglass Factory justice I ve always been interested in the Suffragettes since doing a project on Emmeline Pankhurst at school and The Hourglass Factory gives this life One scene in the dock made an impression on me How archaic it all seems through the eyes of today Travelling around with Frankie on foot gave me plenty of opportunities to visualise society and how it may have been The show at The Coliseum was brilliant and of course the intrigue of Ebony s disappearance I enjoyed the format A third person narrative through the majority of the story switches from Frankie to DI Primrose which kept me engaged and eager to turn the pages I usually finish a reading session at the end of a chapter which was really hard to do with The Hourglass Factory as I scanned the start of the next chapter and then became hooked in and just had to carry on All the leads are fabulous and so are the secondary characters Frankie is impulsive, impetuous and stubborn When she s knocked down she s not deterred but keeps on fighting I loved her DI Frederick Primrose is apathetic about his job since being moved to the Suffragette squad Through him we get to see how the police may have viewed Suffragettes, especially when there is the window smashing along Bond Street He s seen as far too courteous and self effacing by colleagues, however, he s the only one who is not in the job for the power Milly, a snake dancer at Jojo s Cocoa Bar joins up with Frankie to find Ebony but she is hiding something about her past.I loved eccentric Twinkle she co writes a column with Frankie for The London Evening Gazette She s a lady who has blackmailed Stark editor from the paper and holds a lot of power Definitely someone to have on your side I think there s a novel that could be written just about her and her past There s a mysterious figure in connection with the corset shop Olivier Smythe Parisian Corsetier as well as intrigue with what Frankie sees happening one dark evening All the mystery and tension leads us up to 5th November It is such a pivotal scene in the plot It is an awesome, hair raising, edge of seat tenseness that is full of pain and adrenalin for the characters and it was for me too The images are vivid and still feel very real.Ending the story with Frankie, DI Primrose and Twinkle on Derby Day 4 June 1913 was a perfect fit.I would like to thank the publishers for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review

  7. says:

    I honestly adored this book I wasn t sure what to expect going in as I mainly picked it up for its cover, but it was wonderful The Hourglass Factory is set in 1912 London amid the suffragette movement It follows a reporter called Frankie George Frankie is trying her best to impress her boss at the newspaper and get some proper reporting jobs When he asks her to do a portrait on a famous trapeze artist and suffragette called Ebony Diamond, Frankie accepts What she ends up getting involved in I honestly adored this book I wasn t sure what to expect going in as I mainly picked it up for its cover, but it was wonderful The Hourglass Factory is set in 1912 London amid the suffragette movement It follows a reporter called Frankie George Frankie is trying her best to impress her boss at the newspaper and get some proper reporting jobs When he asks her to do a portrait on a famous trapeze artist and suffragette called Ebony Diamond, Frankie accepts What she ends up getting involved in is a complex murder mystery involving Ebony, the suffragettes, an exotic snake dancer, a corset maker and a dangerous plot We also see some chapters from the POV of a police officer called Primrose who is working on the suffragette division There are so many parts to this book and so many places the corset shop, the hourglass factory, the exotic clubs, Fleet Street, London pubs, luxurious abodes and less than luxurious ones , the houses of Parliament, Holloway prison, an insane asylum This book is as fabulous as it sounds its rich and atmospheric with wonderful descriptions I felt completely absorbed in this world, desperately trying to unravel the mystery It did get confusing at times, but was always explained, and it all came out in a lightbulb moment at the end I adored the characters too they were all well written and fleshed out UGH this is the kind of historical fiction I m always looking for I m amazed by the low ratings loved this so, so much

  8. says:

    Alright, by read I mean read halfway through, got really bored and read the last chapter In places, the plot moves quickly in other places, it sludges along like treacle I think my problem was really that I didn t feel any sort of connection to the characters Ebony Diamond meh Frankie meh with a side of irritating Primrose yeah, liked him well enough Primrose s prat boss can t remember his name Twinkle ugh and meh in equal quantities.Not for me, but then this really is Alright, by read I mean read halfway through, got really bored and read the last chapter In places, the plot moves quickly in other places, it sludges along like treacle I think my problem was really that I didn t feel any sort of connection to the characters Ebony Diamond meh Frankie meh with a side of irritating Primrose yeah, liked him well enough Primrose s prat boss can t remember his name Twinkle ugh and meh in equal quantities.Not for me, but then this really isn t a genre that I particularly like The title captured my attention, and I didn t actually read the first few pages in the bookshop

  9. says:

    Vivid with a strong sense of place

  10. says:

    Disappointing I was expectingcircus antics I enjoyed lots of the characters but the most interesting ones spent most of the book absent or dead.I can t comment on the historic accuracy but the scientific fact checking left a lot to be desired, especially in regards to nitrocellulose To put on my chemist hat for a moment view spoiler Yes there may be nitrocellulose in the ink in a pack of cards but this does not gunpowder make and the number of cards you d need to make a bomb, it s ri Disappointing I was expectingcircus antics I enjoyed lots of the characters but the most interesting ones spent most of the book absent or dead.I can t comment on the historic accuracy but the scientific fact checking left a lot to be desired, especially in regards to nitrocellulose To put on my chemist hat for a moment view spoiler Yes there may be nitrocellulose in the ink in a pack of cards but this does not gunpowder make and the number of cards you d need to make a bomb, it s ridiculous Nitrocellulose gun cotton, which is the substance that Frankie suddenly and easily acquired lots of to make the flash for her photos, if they wanted nitrocellulose I feel like they could have bought some Though I think a box of matches would probably haveexploding power Better still, gunpowder, you know actual gunpowder because it s bonfire night and I feel like it wouldn t have been that hard to get some gunpowder hide spoiler

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