The Hourglass Factory

The Hourglass Factory and London is in turmoilThe suffragette movement is reaching fever pitch but for broke Fleet Street tomboy Frankie George just getting by in the cut throat world of newspapers is hard enough Sen

  • Title: The Hourglass Factory
  • Author: Lucy Ribchester
  • ISBN: 9781471139307
  • Page: 258
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1912 and London is in turmoilThe suffragette movement is reaching fever pitch but for broke Fleet Street tomboy Frankie George, just getting by in the cut throat world of newspapers is hard enough Sent to interview trapeze artist Ebony Diamond, Frankie finds herself fascinated by the tightly laced acrobat and follows her across London to a Mayfair corset shop that hide1912 and London is in turmoilThe suffragette movement is reaching fever pitch but for broke Fleet Street tomboy Frankie George, just getting by in the cut throat world of newspapers is hard enough Sent to interview trapeze artist Ebony Diamond, Frankie finds herself fascinated by the tightly laced acrobat and follows her across London to a Mayfair corset shop that hides than one dark secret.Then Ebony Diamond mysteriously disappears in the middle of a performance, and Frankie is drawn into a world of tricks, society columnists, corset fetishists, suffragettes and circus freaks How did Ebony vanish, who was she afraid of, and what goes on behind the doors of the mysterious Hourglass Factory From the newsrooms of Fleet Street to the drawing rooms of high society, the missing Ebony Diamond leads Frankie to the trail of a murderous villain with a plot deadly than anyone could have imaginedWith a major film, Suffragette, starring Meryl Streep, Helena Bonham Carter and Carey Mulligan coming soon, suffragettes will be back in the limelight once again, nearly one hundred years after they fought for votes for women.

    One thought on “The Hourglass Factory”

    1. 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 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) [...]

    2. 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 enoug [...]

    3. 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. 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 [...]

    5. 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 todayTravelling around with Frankie on foot gave me plenty of opportunities to visualise society and how it may have been. T [...]

    6. 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 tha [...]

    7. 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 [...]

    8. Disappointing. I was expecting more circus 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 [...]

    9. A very enjoyable read. Well written, great characters and an exciting plot with plenty of twists and turns. I found the historical notes at the end fascinating - it was interesting to see how much of the story was based on fact. I look forward to more from this writer.

    10. Frankie George is sent by her newspaper for her first proper piece – a profile of suffragette-trapeze artist Ebony Diamond. But while she’s on the trail, Ebony lashes out at her then disappears mysteriously in the middle of her performance. Frankie gains a snake-charmer and dubious errand boy as sidekicks along the way as well as meeting a vast variety of characters, and quest to find Miss Diamond uncovers plots and secrets that she would never have dreamt of. I really, really, wanted to rea [...]

    11. The cover of this book looks a bit like the wrappings on old fashioned boiled sweet - and the insides are fairly similar as well - sometimes warm, sometimes spicy, a couple of rough bits, and hard to swallow whole.It offers a slightly different take on the story of the suffragettes just over 100 years ago. Hard to believe that in 1912, women weren't allowed to vote. That much is true - and many of the leading characters mentioned in the book also have their places in the history books. But the m [...]

    12. I love historical fiction so when I was given The Hourglass Factory as a gift I was very eager to read it. It truly does not disappoint. When reading you feel totally immersed in the suffragette movement and get completely wrapped up in the mystery. Most of the main characters are very likeable, although I would like to have read more about Liam. There is one thing that made me struggle to decide between a 3 or a 4 star rating; without posting any spoilers I will say that I thought the conclusio [...]

    13. I was really looking forward to reading this book. The subject topic of the suffragette movement sounded interesting. Half way through I almost gave up but continued after reading reviews on here. The story seemed to tread water all the time, when it started to get interesting, it would change direction. I felt there was not enough depth given to the characters maybe? And the most interesting person was barely in the book. There are some great reviews on here but I am afraid I felt very disatisf [...]

    14. Right here goes - and its still a mixed bag in my head too so bare with me. Please. Firstly, it runs at a cracking pace. But I find that the same or simmilar episode is happening over and over again. Great the first time but after the fifth or sixth I'm getting wary. I know these things happen in crime/detective drama but is this what this is???? Secondly, how do I categorise this? Is it detective fiction? steam - punk isque whatever that is? Semi -lesbian fiction? Eccentric English fiction = A [...]

    15. This book has a lot going for it: suffragettes, women leads, London and journalism, but I feel it's rather over-complicated and confusing at times. I loved the lucid descriptions of dirty, dank London and hungry inhabitants. The novel breathes life into a snapshot history of the suffragettes' campaign. However, there are so many sub-plots, themes and minor characters that I struggled to keep pace (circus, theatre, journalism, corset tight-lacing fetishism). The main characters have much potentia [...]

    16. This book was fun. Set in a period of history I hadn't read much about before -- the fight for women's suffrage in England in the early 1900s. The characters are colorful and amusing. Sometimes I felt the author was trying too hard with scene and character descriptions, such that it was distracting from the story. On the whole, would recommend this as a quick summer read.

    17. Suffragettes, Emily Pankhurst, a mysterious hourglass factory, a female roving reporter and the world of the circus freaks…oh and a murderous plot tooStory in a nutshell1912 and London is in turmoil…the suffragette movement is alive and well and so is the strange world behind the doors of the hourglass factory.Frankie George is trying to get by in the male dominated world of the newspapers. Fascinated by the world of the circus and the trapeze artist Ebony Diamond, she wants to know more abo [...]

    18. Review first posted on my blog: spoonfulofhappyendingsspoSet in London 1912, the story of 'The Hourglass Factory' revolves around tomboy Frankie George who is a reporter who wants to make a name for herself within the male-dominated world of newspapers. However, this is no easy feat as her boss only wants her to write articles for the Ladies section and nothing else. When Frankie gets the assignment to interview trapeze artist Ebony Diamond, she is immediately intrigued. However, when Ebony neve [...]

    19. Full review available on my blog forgettheclassicsireadromance.The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester is a historical fiction novel focused around the suffragette movement that gained momentum in the early 1900s. Thrown in with all the political intrigue, and the fight for women’s rights is a good old fashioned mystery! Due the mysterious nature of this book I will endeavour to keep my review spoiler free because part of the joy of The Hourglass Factory are all the twists and turns in the pl [...]

    20. The Hourglass factory is set in an era I enjoy reading about, historical fiction set in the early 20th century can immerse the reader in a plethora of sights, sounds and smells and this book sets the scene nicely. It's 1912 and in Fleet street London, budding reporter Frankie George is battling to make her voice heard in the male dominated world of newspaper journalism. When she is sent to get an interview and photograph of Ebony Diamond a suffragette trapeze artist she enters a world of corset [...]

    21. I have really enjoyed this book. A fascinating plot entwined with history , mystery and wonderful female characters has been a joy to read. The cover is rich , sumptuous and caught my eye in the book shelf straight away. The book plot on the back peaked my intrigue even more. Frankie George has been a fabulous character who shoves her journalistic nose obsessively into the mystery of ebony diamond's disappearance. The description of a gritty London and of the circus has been colourful and great [...]

    22. Set in 1912, this book is focused on the suffragette movement in England, and what methods to employ to gain voting rights for women. The main character is "Frankie" George, a young aspiring newspaper writer, who is assigned to babysit a grande dame (Twinkle) and co-write articles about what women's pedestrian interests. Her editor decides to give a break, to interview and photograph a trapeze artist and suffragette, Ebony Diamond. Then, two close friends of hers are killed and she disappears. O [...]

    23. This was a fun and interesting story with all kinds of elements to it, from mystery to gender representation, etc. I enjoyed the way Lucy flipped back and forth between various points of view with the two storylines eventually colliding in the end.My one major qualm with the book is how detailed it is. I know, I know, detail is great, and Lucy wrote it beautifully. But at times it felt too verbose. There was just too much there, and I found myself skimming through it to get to the action.

    24. 4.5 stars this was a fantastic read! Firstly the cover is beautiful like a vintage biscuit tin. That's why I initially picked this book up and it just got better and better. Reporter Frankie tracks down missing trapeze artist Ebony Diamond in London, suffragette movement. Good pacing and a great plot. Nice variety of characters and I found Frankie George to be a refreshingly (not pretty, not skinny, not perfect in all situations) real and relatable heroine.Format: book (library)

    25. Goodness this book was problematic. From the lack of character development to the falling off of characters, to the all too obvious plotline, to the pretty limited historical research into the period (I wasn't impressed by her bibliography). While there were bits that I enjoyed, and was most intrigued by Milly's character (probably because she was the most fleshed out), overall, I found my self pushing to get through to the end.

    26. I found this slightly hard going at first - the narrative jumps around in dizzying fashion, or perhaps it's that being asked to live in reporter Frankie's head as she attempts to get her first scoop on trapeze artist Ebony Diamond is a little too dizzying for the reader at first. Once I'd adjusted and grown more au fait with the world of pre-WW1 suffragettes in London, the story was engrossing and enjoyable. Lucy Ribchester is definitely one to watch.

    27. This selection for our group proved a real treat as it combined a murder mystery against the background of the Suffergete movement.We all enjoyed it and it led to discussions around the function of clothing in terms of gender politics.

    28. Mixed feelings about this one. I enjoyed the period detail but felt that the plot was a little convoluted. I didn't really care about any of the characters and found myself reading hard just to get to the end, rather than because I wanted to know how it would be resolved.

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