An astonishing historical novel set in the shadowy, magical forests of South America, which draws on the captivating world of the international bestseller The Watchmaker of Filigree StreetIt would have been a lovely thing to believe in, if I could have believed in anything at all.In 1860, Merrick Tremayne is recuperating at his family's crumbling Cornish estate as he struggles to recover from an injury procured on expedition in China. Dispirited by his inability to walk any futher than his father's old greenhouse, he is slowly coming round to his brother's suggestion that - after a life lived dangerously - he might want to consider a new path, into the clergy.But when the East India Trading Company coerces Merrick in to agreeing to go on one final expedition to the holy town of Bedlam, a Peruvian settlement his family knows well, he finds himself thrown into another treacherous mission for Her Majesty, seeking valuable quinine from a rare Cinchona tree. In Bedlam, nothing is as it seems. The Cinchona is located deep within a sacred forest where golden pollen furls in the air and mysterious statues built from ancient rock appear to move. Guided by the mysterious priest Raphael, who disappears for days on end into this shadowy realm, Merrick discovers a legacy left by his father and grandfather before him which will prove more valuable than the British Empire could ever have imagined.
The Peru that Markham and Tremayne encounter is a sheer fantastical delight. Exploding "whitewood" trees, lamps made of glowing pollen, moving statues and rock formations of pure glass ... What's more, she writes elegantly and plots like a pro The Times
Natasha Pulley studied English Literature at Oxford University. After stints working at Waterstones as a bookseller, then at Cambridge University Press as a publishing assistant in the astronomy and maths departments, she did the Creative Writing MA at UEA. She later studied in Tokyo, where she lived on a scholarship from the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, and she is now a visiting lecturer at City University. Her first novel, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, was an international bestseller, a Guardian Summer Read, an Amazon Best Book of the Month and was shortlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award. The Bedlam Stacks is her second novel. She lives in Ely.@natasha_pulley