The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley

The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley

The spellbinding BBC Between the Covers book club pick


Brought to you by Penguin.

In 1754, renowned maker of clocks and automata Abel Cloudesley must raise his new-born son Zachary when his wife dies in childbirth.

Growing up amongst the cogs and springs of his father's workshop, Zachary is intensely curious, ferociously intelligent, unwittingly funny and always honest - perhaps too honest. But when a fateful accident leaves six-year-old Zachary nearly blinded, Abel is convinced that the safest place for his son is in the care of his eccentric Aunt Frances and her menagerie of weird and wonderful animals.

So when a precarious job in Constantinople is offered to him, Abel has no reason to say no. A job presented to him by a politician with dubious intentions, Abel leaves his son, his workshop and London behind. The decision will change the course of his life forever.

Since his accident, Zachary is plagued by visions that reveal the hearts and minds of those around him. A gift at times and a curse at others, it is nonetheless these visions that will help him complete a journey that he was always destined to make - to travel across Europe to Constantinople and find out what happened to his father all those years ago.

With a Dickensian cast of characters that are brilliantly bonkers one moment and poignant the next, Sean Lusk's debut will take readers on an immersive journey into the wonders of the world of Zachary Cloudesley.

© Sean Lusk 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022


  • Inventive, fantastical... memorable
    The Times

About the author

Sean Lusk

Sean Lusk’s debut, The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley, was a BBC2 Between the Covers pick, a Sunday Times Historical Fiction Book of the Month, and longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize and the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award. He is also an award-winning short story writer, winner of the Manchester Fiction Prize and the Fish Short Story Prize. He has lived in Greece, Pakistan and Egypt and now lives in the Scottish Highlands.

You can find him at or on Twitter @seanlusk1
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