Shortlist year: 
2013
Shortlist category: 
Fiction
Published by: 
Penguin Random House

About the book

Book cover 'The chemistry of Tears' by Peter Carey

When her lover dies suddenly, all Catherine has left is her work. In an act of compassion her manager at London's Swinburne Museum gives her a very particular project: a box of intricate clockwork parts that constitute a nineteenth-century automaton, a beautiful mechanical bird. It's an object made of equal parts magic, love, madness and science, a delight that contains the seeds of our age's downfall. When Catherine discovers the diary of the man who commissioned it, one obsession merges into another.