Dan Rogers's Reviews > The Clockwork Three

The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby
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's review
May 06, 2012

it was amazing
Read from May 04 to 05, 2012

Giuseppe is an orphan who ekes out a daily existence by playing music on a street corner for whatever coins passersby toss into his hat. When he finds a beautiful green violin, he believes he has finally found a way to earn his way out of this miserable existence and return to his family in Italy. Frederick, also an orphan, is apprenticed to Master Branch, an elderly clock maker. While he is grateful to Master Branch for rescuing him from horrible conditions in the orphanage, Frederick works secretly at night to make an automaton which he believes will earn him the coveted journeyman status he so desperately desires. He believes that only then will he really be "free". Hannah, the eldest child in a family of five, began working as a maid at the Gilbert Hotel when her father became bedridden after suffering a stroke. Each of these individuals dreams of a better life yet it is only when they join forces that they find the ability and means to attain something greater than a meager existence.

The characters I enjoyed the most were Madame Pomeroy and Yakov, her personal bodyguard. Madame Pomeroy occupies the luxurious suite on the top floor of the Gilbert Hotel. Much to the displeasure of Miss Wool, the supervisor of the maids in the hotel, Madame Pomeroy takes on Hannah as her personal assistant. As she does so, Madame Pomeroy makes it very clear that she does not care what Miss Wool, or others for that matter, may think of Hannah. Instead she judges her solely upon what she sees and hears from Hannah herself. Yakov, is also very gracious and thoughtful of the feelings of others. When Hannah attends the opera with Madame Pomeroy, he tells her that she looks like a princess, helping her to feel that she belongs among the well-to-do.

As I was reading, I found, at times, that the setting was much like that of a Dickens novel. I felt the depression and hopelessness of a life lived day-to-day with no expectation of improvement in the foreseeable future. Yet, at the same time, as the story developed, my hopes were raised and my interest was piqued to see how each of the main characters would rise above their circumstances to attain a better tomorrow. With such strong, believable characters, this book will appeal to any reader willing/desiring to be whisked away to another place and time where modern conveniences such as automobiles and electricity have yet to be seen. You'll quickly find yourself rooting for the "good" guy and hoping that the villain "gets what's coming to them."

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