The Chemistry of Tears

The Chemistry of Tears

eBook - 2012
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London, 2010. Grieving the loss of her lover, Swinburne museum curator Catherine Gehrig is given a special project--bring back to life an automaton whose original owner, 19th century Englishman Henry Brandling, was also confronted with the mystery of life and death.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2012.
ISBN: 9781742534527
9780307958396
Characteristics: 1 online resource :,illustrations
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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None of the characters are likable. Catherine is wallowing in her grief as the hidden mistress of a work colleague. Well you were 'cheating' with a married man Catherine, what do you expect when he dies? And you are so prickly and ungrateful for colleagues' attempts to console you. And you are mean to that young assistant. Henry is a Victorian milquetoast from a wealthy family who is caught up in magical thinking. A wind up toy is going to save the life of his fragile son. This might be a tolerable plot line if it was written in the 19th century but it is just annoying as a backdrop to a 21st century story. It is a tedious read!

testBCKCLS Jul 30, 2013

I liked the idea of this book better than the execution. The story jumps back and forth between the present day and the 19th century. The portions set in the present, in which museum conservator and horologist Catherine Gehrig is given special project to help her deal with the grief of losing her lover, are engaging and thoughtfully rendered. The historical sections, in which her project (an automaton modelled on Jacques de Vaucanson's "digesting duck") is first created, are more disjointed, The details about the device, as well as the inner workings of a museum are interesting, but overall this isn't one of Carey's best.

l
l1ill
Jul 11, 2012

I read less than a quarter of the book and returned. Not an easy/mindless read for the summer. Definitely weird!

s
shanauer
Jun 19, 2012

Rather tedious- didn't hold my interest throughout. Just...a little weird, really. And not in a good way.

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Kristin_M_M Feb 15, 2017

"Yes, I felt the absence of my own son - an awful ache - but only love provides the lucky man such symptoms."

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