Written by A.M. Howell, Illustration by Saara Soderlund, Published by Usborne
A mysterious house full of clocks and a strict contract ensuring none of the clocks ever stop. When her father signs this contract, he agrees to forfeit their worldly belongings if the clocks cease to work. Helena feels bereft at the thought of losing all she owns. Her most prized possession is Orbit- a blue fronted Amazon parrot. She couldn’t possibly say goodbye to him.
Tension is immediate as Helena is willing to fight to save her beloved Orbit. As the story unfolds, we learn why Orbit is so treasured and the true consequences of a clock stopping.
Mr Westcott and his sister are mysterious characters and have an odd relationship. The house, full of clocks and watches of all shapes and sizes and ages is not welcoming or friendly, and many of the rooms are unfurnished. This does not stop Helena from exploring it all.
Helena has a natural curiosity and due to the size and nature of the job, her father is busy much of the time. Helena is left to explore while her father becomes obsessed with his role. During the first week in the house, Helena meets Stanley- housekeeper, cook, tutor, and Boy- Mr Westcott’s daughter. Alternating between looking like a boy and a girl, Helena is confused but eventually the sad story emerges.
Not all are who they seem and others are hiding secrets. There is a grave superstition at the heart of the clocks ticking. Helena, Boy and a new friend Ralph find themselves racing against the clocks (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!) to save Orbit, Boy’s mother and to prove who is truly behind all the mystery and clock stopping.
A truly wonderful and amazing book- intriguing, mysterious and full of secrets. All waiting for the reader to lose themselves in the timelessness of this adventure.