'When Catherine's lover dies suddenly, she has no-one to turn to - their affair had been disguised from their colleagues and his family - except her work. A middle-aged curator in a London museum, Catherine is given a very particular project by the perceptive head of her department: a box of intricate clockwork parts that appear to be the remains of a nineteenth century automaton - a beautifully made mechanical bird.
'When she discovers that the box also contains the diary of the man who commissioned the machine, she is partially rescued from one obsession by another - who were Henry Brandling and the mysterious, visionary clockmaker he hired to make a gift for his absent son? And what was the end result that now sits in pieces in her studio?
'The Chemistry of Tears is both wildly entertaining and deeply moving, a portrait of love and loss that is simultaneously delicate and anarchic. At its heart is an image only the masterful Peter Carey could breath such life into - an object made of equal parts magic, art and science, a delight that contains the seeds of our age's downfall.' (From the publisher's website.)
Host Jennifer Byrne joins regular panelists Marieke Hardy and Jason Steger, and guests A.M. Homes and Vikram Chandra to discuss and review the international book We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and Australian novel, The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey.