The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester

Book: The Hourglass Factory
Author: Lucy Ribchester
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Available: Out now
Summary: Ebony Diamond is a trapeze artist, tiger-tamer, suffragette – wherever there’s trouble she’s never far away. When Ebony suddenly goes missing, her disappearance leads tomboy journalist Frankie from the newsrooms of Fleet Street to the headquarters of the suffragettes on the trail of a murderous villain with a plot more deadly than anyone could have imagined… 


Hi everyone,

Hope you all survived Blue Monday and are ready to face the rest of the week! Over the last few days I’ve been reading Lucy Ribchester’s gripping debut novel, The Hourglass Factory.

It’s got everything I love in a good thriller – unexpected plot twists, glamorous underworlds, politics, good vs bad policemen. But it also has the setting of the suffragettes, fighting for women’s rights, and Lucy does a fantastic job of setting the scene of London in the 1910s. Paying great attention to detail and also featuring events that really happened (not the murder mystery part, I mean in the background), Lucy has created a really mesmerising piece of historical fiction.

There are some parts of the book I felt could have been edited down – there’s a lot of description about the background of some of the characters that seems a bit unnecessary, but it doesn’t happen enough to detract from the plot, which was good!

The protagonist, Frankie, was not my favourite character – I found her really frustrating, because she doesn’t seem to support women’s rights, yet they are the reason she can work as a reporter in the first place. I felt like sometimes she was just being a bit of a whiner, but I like how she does slowly come around (although I still feel that I never quite connected with her). The most interesting character in my opinion, apart from Ebony Diamond (I mean she’s a trapeze artist and tiger tamer, how could she not be interesting), is Milly, Ebony’s friend and Frankie’s ally.

Milly is a bit of everything – brave, cowardly, funny, serious, and mysterious. I felt like she was the most relatable female character in the book, not to mention her back story is awesome.

Definitely worth a read for anyone interested in the suffragettes – like I said, Lucy goes into a lot of detail drawing on real-life events, so it’s a great insight into the world of suffragettes and women’s rights, even alongside it being a piece of fiction.

I would recommend reading this if you love history and thrillers – it’s the perfect combination of both!

What have you all been reading?

Julie x

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