The Clockmaker's Daughter: A Novel by Kate MortonThe Clockmaker's Daughter: A Novel by Kate Morton

The Clockmaker's Daughter: A Novel

byKate Morton

Paperback | October 9, 2018

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A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House—the story of a love affair and a mysterious murder that cast their shadow across generations, set in England from the 1860s until the present day.

My real name, no one remembers.
The truth about that summer, no one else knows.

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.

Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.

Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?

Told by multiple voices across time, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a story of murder, mystery, and thievery, of art, love, and loss. And flowing through its pages like a river, is the voice of a woman who stands outside time, whose name has been forgotten by history, but who has watched it all unfold: Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter.
Kate Morton, a native Australian, holds degrees in dramatic art and English literature. She lives with her family in London and Australia.
Title:The Clockmaker's Daughter: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 9 × 6.12 × 1.1 inPublished:October 9, 2018Publisher:Atria BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:198211052X

ISBN - 13:9781982110529

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fell short Usually a big Kate Morton fan but this book fell a little short for me! Felt a little confused with the ending and had hoped for something more.
Date published: 2019-04-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Painful Tried hard to get into it.. I really did. But the writing is horrible, the story line is painfully boring, and it's hard to keep track of what exactly is going on. Another sad girl about to engage in a sad marriage that gets whisked away by some dude living in some house.. that's about all I got from it. Made it about halfway through but couldn't finish. Would definitely not recommend.
Date published: 2019-04-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Painful Tried hard to get into it.. I really did. But the writing is horrible, the story line is painfully boring, and it's hard to keep track of what exactly is going on. Another sad girl about to engage in a sad marriage that gets whisked away by some dude living in some house.. that's about all I got from it. Made it about halfway through but couldn't finish. Would definitely not recommend.
Date published: 2019-04-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not what I expected Usually, Kate Morton is my most favourite female author, however, while I was looking forward to reading this latest novel from her, I have to say that it fell short of the mark for me. The premise of past and present storytelling is quite common with Morton's work but this one pushed the boundaries a bit too much to keep the story going smoothly. She rambled on in some cases that almost made me give up reading it, and the ending wasn't really satisfying either. I would normally give this a 3-star rating but because of Morton's writing style I'm giving it a 4. Sadly, not her best effort - but I highly recommend her earlier works - especially for those of you who read this book first and none of her other novels.
Date published: 2019-02-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from So bored ... I saw all the great reviews for this book and I thought I would give it a try. It was almost torturous to get through, with nothing really happening at all over the entire course of the book. Ending was very unsatisfying. A lot of characters, some using multiple names, made the story a bit hard to follow. Would not recommend.
Date published: 2019-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Story Kate Morton is a Genius!! Her writing is impeccable and this story is touching and keeps you turning the pages. The beginning i found hard to get into but as the first few chapters flow you will be hooked. Simply Amazing
Date published: 2019-02-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great premise I liked the story line and the way it moved around in time. It was a bit challenging to follow but worth it. The story kept you guessing at what might be happening. An excellent read!
Date published: 2019-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth It I won’t lie.. I had a hard time getting into this book. Once I finally started to become interested, a new story line would begin and I’d fall right back off the wagon again. I had to do some googling to keep up and figure out what the heck was going on. Once I was caught up, I started listening to the audiobook. Twice. What a story this is!! Definitely worth the read!
Date published: 2019-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great prose, wonderful saga, but difficult structure PLOT OR PREMISE: A house in the country has some hidden secrets as do some of the people who visit the house throughout 150 years of history. . WHAT I LIKED: The overall story is awesome, despite some accessibility challenges with the structure (see below). You get to see pieces of the long story in the 1850s with one character as a young girl and another as a young boy; period two is an outing a number of years later when a bunch of artists descend on the house for a seminal event in their history; later occupation of the house by a woman who runs a girls school there; transformation of the house into a museum much later, to honour one of the artists from the fateful summer; occupation of the house by a young family during WWII; a visit to the house by a man and a woman years later; and finally a visit by an archivist in the present day, trying to find out some of the history from those various periods. She has some of the clues about the various timeframes and is trying to piece together more information about the fateful summer. . WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: I didn't like the constant jumping around in time and point of view, which is the structural problem I mentioned above. There are at least seven separate timeframes for the house, and even a couple more in there that are alluded to through reminiscing, but some of the timeframes are not indicated very precisely. You kind of have to figure a couple out as you go. In addition, while the author is a master of lyrical prose, you know some of the story is going to be a bit weird when early on you see an event from the point of view of a satchel that is being opened. Yes, the actual satchel, as if it is alive. It is not the only fantastical element in the book, but the rest would be too much of a spoiler to reveal. A bigger problem I had was that in one timejump, the new PoV is in the head of a woman who has a name VERY similar to that of another character; so much so that I was ten pages into the section before I realized that it wasn't the woman I thought it was, and the timeframe was VERY different as a result. I often read books that have timeline issues that are way more complex than here, but even I had trouble following some of the hops. I also found part of the ending left things a bit hard to understand with one person acting very out of character and the final piece being a bit open-ended. . DISCLOSURE: I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow her on social media.
Date published: 2019-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable Read I really enjoyed this book for the fact that it kept going back and forth over the periods of time with the house as the center. Not until almost the end does the plot get revealed and it was very intriguing and kept you guessing.
Date published: 2019-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intricately Layered with a Large Cast of Characters “Intricately layered and told by multiple voices across time.” I read this line in the descriptor for Kate Morton’s “The Clockmaker’s Daughter” and made my decision to order the book since that is exactly the kind of novel I enjoy – and it most definitely delivered on that promise. “The Clockmaker’s Daughter” traces events, separated by 150 years, which take place at Birchwood Manor – an idyllic country house on the banks of the Upper Thames in England. In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists, led by the talented and somewhat obsessive Edward Radcliffe, occupy the house until one woman is shot dead and a priceless heirloom goes missing. The lives of several people are forever scarred by that fateful summer. In the present, archivist Elodie Winslow is led to the house when she uncovers a leather satchel with intriguing contents. Several other characters also occupy the Manor at times over the years. The lives of all of them are linked over time by events and destiny – including Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter, who forms the connecting link. Kate Morton weaves an engaging and intricate literary fiction tale of murder, mystery, thievery, art, love and loss. A word of caution: It is the kind of novel you cannot put down and come back to a week later as you are likely to lose your grasp of the complex threads that tie everything together. But if you settle in and stay focused, you will be caught up in this enchanting story and its large cast of characters.
Date published: 2019-01-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Diappointing This book got rave reviews from a lot of people...but not from me. I found it to be very confusing, too many characters and too much jumping back and forth. This is the first Kate Morton book I have read, and I'm not sure that I will read another.
Date published: 2019-01-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Rather disappointing. I really enjoyed her previous books. This one seemed to ramble ...
Date published: 2019-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent storytelling I love all of Kate Mortons books. She manages to pull the reader into her worlds effortlessly. She is so fantastic at weaving together lives that span lifetimes to create a story that envelopes you. Just like her past works this book has that otherworldly feel, history, architecture and love. Hard to put down.
Date published: 2019-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best author ever! I started reading Kate Morton's Clockmaker's Daughter and by the time I got halfway through, I couldn't put it down. She led me through so many intricate thought processes that the characters were going through and just when I thought I had figured out the ending, a huge twist of events or clue emerged which then had me going back and rereading to see what I'd missed. A spectacularly crafted, brilliantly written novel that had me in suspense until the end. When I finished, I ordered every book she's ever written and have read them all now, each one very different from the last. I'm anticipating her next release! I've read many books over my life and enjoy reading. This woman is the very best.
Date published: 2019-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous! Kate Morton is one of my favorite authors. I loved the complexity and the interwoven stories of the past and the present. It was a real page turner that I couldn't put down.
Date published: 2018-12-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from up in the air about this book Very inventive story, but the perhaps too many characters, felt I could have gotten to know them better. Also feel like the "love story" between Jack and Elodie could have been explored a lot more, Jack is a character I would actually like to see more of.
Date published: 2018-12-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointed This book was extremely difficult to get into. There was a lack of character development and way too many characters and continuous jumping from timeline to timeline. I found myself confused at who was who the entire time. I finished the book, hoping in the end it would wrap up and tie things together - but the ending left me more confused!
Date published: 2018-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A web that spans generations Loved this book, different people at different stages in life all connected through a mysterious house. As the story comes together you will be unable to put this book down!
Date published: 2018-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful book What a beautifully written novel. I haven’t read such writing like this in ages. The story has so many elements to it and it’s suspenceful but also such an easy read. I recommend this book for everyone to put under the tree for someone special this Christmas.
Date published: 2018-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating, mysterious and spellbinding! KATE MORTON once again put me under her spell with her fabulous new novel THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER. The setting was just as bewitching as the storytelling! I absolutely loved the fantastical elements of this story, learning all the secrets hidden in Birchwood Manor and the character connections to the ghostly presence of Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter which was so pivotal to the story for me. I love me a good ghost story! THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER by KATE MORTON is an engrossing, wonderful, and breathtaking read here that offers many and such distinctive storylines that I found rather alluring and definitely appealed to me as a reader. I was immediately drawn into this gothic story and it fully captivated my thoughts while I was reading this book. KATE MORTON skillfully delivers an absolutely beautiful, richly detailed, complex and atmospheric read here that vastly intertwines different time periods and multiple characters together into one astounding and powerful story. Even though I had to closely pay attention to all the characters and how they were connected to the story and Birchwood Manor it did not take away how entertaining and enjoyable this story was for me. It was great storytelling and the whole story felt like I was doing just that reading a story! I have been craving for a story just like this one and it definitely delivered! Norma’s Stats: Cover: Eye-catching, stunning, pleasing, and grabbed my attention! That cover alone made me want to read this book and savour every word. A fitting representation to storyline and love how it played into the story so meaningfully. Title: Intriguing, pivotal, suspenseful, simple but yet an extremely fitting representation to the storyline. Even though The Clockmaker’s Daughter wasn’t necessarily a brilliant title, the ties that bind her to the story definitely was. Writing/Prose: Lyrical, insightful, engaging, beautiful, and detailed. Morton’s writing style is beautifully detailed and poetic but it definitely required my full attention though. I forgot how beautifully descriptive Morton writes! Once I was able to fully immerse myself in this tale though (which didn’t take very long) and had the feel with how it was written it was much easier for me to read. Plot: Suspenseful, mysterious, alluring, engrossing, steady-paced, held my attention fully and extremely entertaining. A little bit of patience goes a long way when reading this book! Ending: Bittersweet, satisfying, and ended with a bit of mystery. Although I found it to be extremely fitting. Overall: An irresistible, relaxing, delightful, suspenseful, and fabulous read! An epic historical tale that was a little challenging to read at times but oh so worth it! Would highly recommend! Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada. It was an absolute pleasure reading this fantastic novel!
Date published: 2018-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from FANTASTIC I LOVED this book. I always enjoy reading Kate Morton's books but this is her best by far. The I loved the characters and didn't want it to end. Kate does such a wonderful job creating an intricately woven tale that spans and connects generations. I really felt I was in the house with her descriptions. Just wonderful!
Date published: 2018-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Go directly to your nearest Inidgo, purchase multiple copies and give away! Characters so real I felt they were my family and their history part of my own. Their stories were intricately drawn and tightly woven; teased apart for us to come to know the vividly spun threads of their lives and the threads that bound them all. The book moved at a good pace and I was often lost in their world, expecting to leave my front door and see a Japanese Maple on the front drive. Some felt the book was too long, but I felt it was spot on! Don't miss out on such a beautifully imagined and rendered story, but hey don't take my word for it. Go, now, and get your copy! EDIT: I cannot stop going over this story, the characters and events. There are so many passages that demand re-reading, savouring again. Also, I think the wrap up was perfectly written. #IndigoEmployee
Date published: 2018-11-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So good! The introductions of each character and the sharing of his/ her own individual stories and their relationship with the house and eachother was tantalizing. At the end of chapter twenty-six, realization of the answer to the biggest question sinks in and it is "oh no, I hope not." The ending is unexpected, not all wrapped up perfectly...
Date published: 2018-10-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Was o.k. This is the first novel I have read by Kate Morton. It was like read I gotta a rehash of All the Light we Cannot See or Titanic, but not as good as the Puliter prize winner. Characters were interesting, writing style is entertaining, and although all the loose ends are nicely tied up, there is not necessarily a happy ending for all characters, which makes the sum of personal experiences somewhat lifelike. A good read if your are into something light that does not necessitate any hard thinking.
Date published: 2018-10-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sleeping Beautys I loved this book because it is an exceptionnel story and surnatural. It keeps our attention till the end. Marvelous story !
Date published: 2018-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Kate Morton is one of my favourite writers. Every time I finish one of her books, I'm sure it's the best one yet. And it is, until the next one comes along. The Clockmaker's Daughter is her latest - and yes, it's the best one yet! Morton again employs all the elements that are hallmarks of her work. Past and present narratives, houses, their history, love lost, love found, an element of other otherworldliness this time and so much more. "My real name, no one remembers. The truth about that summer, no one else knows." Summer 1862. A group of artists and friends plan to spend a month at Edward Radcliffe's new home, Birchwood Manor. But before the month is out, one of them will be dead, a priceless heirloom is missing and Edward's life will never the same. Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie, a young archivist, uncovers photographs that seem somehow familiar to her.... "The woman in the white gloves unlatched the dull silver buckle and the satchel held its breath. Open me, open me, open me....She pushed back its leather strap and for the first time in over a century light swept into the satchel's dark corners." The past has always fascinated me, bits of history and lore woven into family stories. Pictures of those now gone, houses now emptied. What is their story? I was immediately drawn to Elodie and couldn't wait to discover and uncover what happened in the past at Birchwood and why she seems to know the house. But it's not only Elodie we hear from. The past is unfolded from many different, yet intertwined viewpoints and time frames. Each and every one of those characters are so very well drawn. All of them have a connection to Birchwood Manor and feel inexplicably drawn to the house. "Edward used to say that the river possessed a primeval memory of everything that had ever happened. It occurs to me that this house is like that, too. It remembers, just as I do. It remembers everything." It is this voice that I found the most poignant - the voice in the house. (No spoilers, so not saying another word about this.) Kate Morton's descriptions are so wonderful. The house sprang alive for me - I could feel the warm spot on the turn of the stairs, smell the flowers in the garden, envision myself under a shady tree listening to the sound of the river going by. I started reading slower as I realized I was reaching the end. I knew what was coming and I just didn't want to face it. But I wanted to see how all of those threads and lives would weave together. My review doesn't do this book justice. But suffice it to say that I loved it. Absolutely, positively recommended. Pick up a copy for snowy nights reading. "Each clock is unique, he used to tell me. And just like a person, its face, whether plain or pretty, is but a mask for the intricate mechanism it concealed."
Date published: 2018-10-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Middling Kate Morton Effort Received an arc at BookExpo 2018 - all opinions my own. Elodie finds a box that had been misplaced in the collection of items at her archivist job, which sets her on a path of looking for a house that featured in the bedtime story her deceased mother told her as a child. There are, I think, 6 timelines that weave throughout the story, with varying amounts of time spent on each. A couple of the timelines are single chapters, some timelines have more real estate dedicated to them within the book, but the bulk of the story is built around the clock maker's daughter from the summer of 1862. I enjoyed the writing and all of the characters felt fleshed out, with clear motivations - which is excellent, so many novels featuring a large cast reduce the supporting characters to broad caricatures or shallow tools used to move the plot along. I can't think of a time I've been reading one of Morton's books that the characters have been underdeveloped. However, with 6 timelines and such great characters, I felt like some of the timelines/characters were underserved. I liked the way the ending is kind of abrupt/ rife with loose threads. While it may annoy others, I found the ending to be realistic for a family secret type of story - you're never going to get all the pieces of an actual family secret in a nice orderly row; for the omniscient reader, however, we get many more of the pieces than we leave Elodie with. From there we can fan-fiction/genie up the direction we would like our present-day timeline characters to head in. Sure, I'd like the ending I'd anticipate to be cannon, but I'm happy that every reader can make of it what they will. What I hated about the book was finding out the fate of one of the characters - it reminded me of a much lauded historical fiction book I read a few years ago that I despise.
Date published: 2018-10-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A very sad story with incredible writing and fantastic historical detail Going into a Kate Morton novel I always know what to expect. There will be strong women, both in the past and in the present. A woman in the present will be researching and trying to solve a mystery which occurred in the past. Chapters will move between the two time periods and finally the mystery will be revealed near the end. Having a formula isn’t a bad thing and it obviously works for Morton. I am one of her many fans who eagerly awaits each new release with grabby hands. I was expecting beautiful writing, historical detail and a compelling mystery and that is exactly what I received. This book was a bit different as it seemed to feature more characters than usual, several different time periods and multiple story-lines. This became very complex and a bit difficult to keep track of everything. There are several points of view and I have to admit that I was a bit sceptical when one of the chapters was narrated by an inanimate object. Only my trust in Kate Morton let me get past that and keep going. Everything and everyone is connected to the house, Birchwood Manor, but many of the connections that tie all the narratives together weren’t clear until much later so I really had to work to remember everything that happened and all the characters involved. It was still enjoyable but it definitely was not a mindless read. Not that I was expecting mindless but this was more intense work than I was expecting. I didn’t connect to Elodie and the modern story-line as much as I was hoping. It seemed to pale a bit in comparison to the artists and Birdie in the past story-line. It’s a bit of a mystery to me because Elodie is a character I can very much relate to with her very particular habits and her meticulousness in general. I just didn’t find her sections very interesting. Luckily Birdie more than made up for that with her heartbreaking story. I was rooting for her so hard even though it’s very clear from the start that she is the ghost in the manor. Tragedy was obviously in the cards but I couldn’t help hoping that somehow she would find some happiness. I’ve read a few of Kate Morton’s books and while they are often a bit melancholy this is by far the saddest. It is heart-rending and haunting in every way. The reveal of what had happened to our narrator ghost was an absolute shocker. I thought that I had it figured out but I never would have guessed what actually occurred. I may have teared up just a little because it really was such a horrific end for such a tough and vibrant character. This isn’t the strongest Kate Morton book I’ve read but I did really like it. I think making it a bit shorter by removing some of the long and mostly unnecessary side-stories would have made this book more enjoyable but in the end it is Kate Morton and I love her. Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.
Date published: 2018-10-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from intricate and detailed THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER by Kate Morton is a story of love, romance, murder and mystery spanning one-hundred and fifty years, numerous timelines, several generations and various perspectives all connected to Birchwood Manor on the Upper Thames. One-hundred and fifty years earlier artist and painter Edward Radcliffe fell in love with his muse, a woman everyone came to know as Lily Millington, a woman who wasn’t whom she purported to be. The purchase of a country estate known as Birchwood Manor would bring together Edward and his fellow artists –the Magenta Brotherhood- wherein their lives where about to change forever. A murder, the presumed departure and guilt of Lily Millington, and the disappearance of the Radcliffe Blue Diamond would kick-off a century and a half of rumors, innuendo, heartbreak and loss that followed one family from 1862 to 2017. In 2017, Archivist Elodie Winslow went in search of her past, a past mired in secrets and death, but a past that Elodie was desperate to discover. With only a damaged photo, an old leather satchel, and stories of a time long ago, Elodie heads to Birchwood Manor to unearth the true about her mother’s life but Elodie isn’t the only one in search of the past as Birchwood Manor’s secrets are about to be exposed. THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER is a slow building story line that follows several paths, and numerous timelines; of one family’s history of secrets and lies; and the spirit who is witness to everything and all. THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER is a story of ghosts, fairies and queens; of betrayal, loss, heartbreak and love as one family meanders a path between the present and the past. Kate Morton weaves an intricate and detailed story that at times is difficult to navigate as the perspectives and timelines invariably overlap between the present and several pasts. An intriguing story, THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER is a beautiful tale that will captivate and entertain; challenge and inflame.
Date published: 2018-10-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This blew me away Kate Morton is a prolific writer, but oddly enough I had never read one of her books before. And now that I have, I fully realize what I’ve been missing. The first half of the book spent a lot of time on a lot of different characters. I struggled to see the reason for that focus, and wondered where Morton was going with it. I should have had more faith. As each person’s history was laid out, the different stories started to blend and overlap in fascinating ways. I literally found myself exclaiming out loud my surprise at the end of most of the chapters in the second half of the book. It was brilliant, and it blew me away. But it’s more than just a superbly planned mystery - Morton’s writing flows beautifully, drawing you in very quickly. The central character in the story is actually a house, and it seems to breathe with a life of its own. Many of her human characters were less developed next to Birchwood Manor, which I actually think worked out quite well. But that’s not to say her characterizations were lacking - they were quite the opposite. I found myself relating to Lucy, my heart ached for Lily, and I despised Thurston with a passion. Yes, this book is a ghost story - but it is also so much more. Read it and see for yourself.
Date published: 2018-10-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Randomness but connected Okay. So this novel was not what I was expecting. It is not a novel to read at night - when the lights are turned low. And it’s dark and stormy outside. Definitely not a night time read. YIKES! It turns out that this novel is about the paranormal. The story, like other novels by Ms. Morton, is woven intricately through the lives of every character bringing surprise moments and what?! –kind of endings. This novel did not disappoint in that regard. The Clockmaker’s Daughter follows Elodie Winslow, an archivist who has a predictable life but is happy. Given the task of recording a box of seemingly random items that had been found stashed away in an upstairs closet at her office, she begins the task of trying to figure out if and/or how they are connected. The pieces are so random that the reader at once begins to wonder what magic is going to be pulled to make sense of it all. Elodie is drawn to the sketchbook she finds of an old house, that for some reason seems familiar to her but she knows she’s never seen it before; and the picture of a beautiful young woman from the 1860s. 150 years prior, a group of artists gather together for summer fun and creativity at a hideaway spot, Birchwood Manor. When tragedy strikes and interrupts their plans no one is ever the same again. And a young girl holds a shocking secret that could have turned the tables, but instead she carries it well into her old age and dies without telling the whole tale of what happened that summer. The novel runs parallel stories which come colliding together and it really does make sense, but it’s kind of spooky too. Kate Morton is a fascinating storyteller who is able to weave incredible stories together that span decades but connect in the present. She has an uncanny ability to draw the reader in from the first paragraph and maintain interest to the last word. I’m giving this one a 4 star only because I don’t like paranormals. I received an ecopy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Date published: 2018-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful: An Old Manor House, A Tragic Unsolved Mystery and a Lost Family Heirloom Birchwood Manor is a brooding historic home with more than a few stories to tell. Birdie, one of the main characters acts like a narrator for the story. We get to know fragmented parts of her story but we also get to see all of the other lives inexplicably drawn to the home as well. Throughout the years people have come and gone, each person unknowingly becoming part of the home's story. "The Clockmaker's Daughter" is my first read by Kate Morton and I have mostly only positive things to say about it. The novel has such a picturesque setting and who doesn't love a large historic home just waiting for someone to unravel its mysterious past? As readers we get multiple points of view which gives us a birds eye view of Birchwood Manor throughout its history. However, the alternating points of view can also be occasionally difficult to navigate from chapter to chapter. Some reviewers have mentioned that the story was hard to follow, but I actually enjoyed getting to hear all about the lives of each of the characters. I think Morton did an excellent job at navigating the complex plot while still being able to give us enough about each character to be able to connect with them. Some of the branches in the plot did die off, but I didn't really miss them and did not feel they added to the success of the book overall. Elodie is another one of the stories main characters and she is easy to connect with right away. She seems like she is a down to earth girl who just gets drawn into the history of Edward Radcliffe and his family's story. Edward Radcliffe came from a wealthy family and was an aspiring artist. But how did his life become surrounded in tragedy and what caused his seemingly sudden demise? Elodie finds a leather satchel that hides clues to the Radcliffe family's tragic history and leads Elodie down a path she can't help but follow. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and think it will be a book which will stay in my memory bank for a while. I want to thank NetGalley and the Publishers Simon & Schuster Canada and Atria Books for an ebook copy of "The Clockmaker's Daughter" to read and review.
Date published: 2018-09-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great read A great read, a bit dry and dull at times but still a good read
Date published: 2018-06-07

Read from the Book

We came to Birchwood Manor because Edward said that it was haunted. It wasn’t, not then, but it’s a dull man who lets truth stand in the way of a good story, and Edward was never that. His passion, his blinding faith in whatever he professed, was one of the things I fell in love with. He had the preacher’s zeal, a way of expressing opinions that minted them into gleaming currency. A habit of drawing people to him, of firing in them enthusiasms they hadn’t known were theirs, making all but himself and his convictions fade. But Edward was no preacher. I remember him. I remember everything. -- The glass-roofed studio in his mother’s London garden, the smell of freshly mixed paint, the scratch of bristle on canvas as his gaze swept my skin. My nerves that day were prickles. I was eager to impress, to make him think me something I was not, as his eyes traced my length and Mrs. Mack’s entreaty circled in my head: “Your mother was a proper lady, your people were grand folk, and don’t you go forgetting it. Play your cards right and all our birds might just come home to roost.” And so I sat up straighter on the rosewood chair that first day in the whitewashed room behind the tangle of blushing sweet peas. His littlest sister brought me tea, and cake when I was hungry. His mother, too, came down the narrow path to watch him work. She adored her son. In him she glimpsed the family’s hopes fulfilled. Distinguished member of the Royal Academy, engaged to a lady of some means, father soon to a clutch of brown-eyed heirs. Not for him the likes of me. -- His mother blamed herself for what came next, but she’d have more easily halted day from meeting night than keep us apart. He called me his muse, his destiny. He said that he had known at once, when he saw me through the hazy gaslight of the theater foyer on Drury Lane. I was his muse, his destiny. And he was mine. It was long ago; it was yesterday. Oh, I remember love. -- This corner, halfway up the main flight of stairs, is my favorite. It is a strange house, built to be purposely confusing. Staircases that turn at unusual angles, all knees and elbows and uneven treads; windows that do not line up no matter how one squints at them; floorboards and wall panels with clever concealments. In this corner, there’s a warmth, almost unnatural. We all noticed it when first we came, and over the early summer weeks we took our turns in guessing at its cause. The reason took me some time to discover, but at last I learned the truth. I know this place as I know my own name. -- It was not the house itself but the light that Edward used to tempt the others. On a clear day, from the attic windows, one can see over the river Thames and all the way to the  distant mountains. Ribbons of mauve and green, crags of chalk that stagger towards the clouds, and warm air that lends the whole an iridescence. This was the proposal that he made: an entire summer month of paint and poetry and picnics, of stories and science and invention. Of light, heaven-sent. Away from London, away from prying eyes. Little wonder that the others accepted with alacrity. Edward could make the very devil pray, if such were his desire. Only to me did he confess his other reason for coming here. For although the lure of the light was real enough, Edward had a secret. -- We came on foot from the railway station. July, and the day was perfect. A breeze picked at my skirt hem. Someone had brought sandwiches and we ate them as we walked. What a sight we must have made—men with loosened neckties, women with their long hair free. Laughter, teasing, sport. Such a grand beginning! I remember the sound of a stream close by and a wood pigeon calling overhead. A man leading a horse, a wagon with a young boy sitting atop straw bales, the smell of freshcut grass— Oh, how I miss that smell! A clutch of fat country geese regarded us beadily when we reached the river before honking bravelonce we had passed. All was light, but it did not last for long. You knew that already, though, for there would be no story to tell if the warmth had lasted. No one is interested in quiet, happy summers that end as they begin. Edward taught me that. -- The isolation played its part, this house, stranded on the riverbank like a great inland ship. The weather, too; the blazing hot days, one after the other, and then the summer storm that night, which forced us all indoors. The winds blew and the trees moaned, and thunder rolled down the river to take the house within its clutches; while inside, talk turned to spirits and enchantments. There was a fire, crackling in the grate, and the candle flames quivered, and in the darkness, in that atmosphere of delicious fear and confession, something ill was conjured. Not a ghost, oh, no, not that—the deed when done was entirely human. Two unexpected guests. Two long-kept secrets. A gunshot in the dark. -- The light went out and everything was black. Summer was curdled. The first keen leaves began their fall, turning to rot in the puddles beneath the thinning hedgerows, and Edward, who loved this house, began to stalk its corridors, entrapped. At last, he could stand it no longer. He packed his things to leave and I could not make him stop. The others followed, as they always did. And I? I had no choice; I stayed behind.

Editorial Reviews

Morton’s great gift is evocation (the longing! the tension! the grief for things lost!) and giving her readers juicy, immersive worlds that can be fallen into and out of . . . with a lot less strife (and maybe more star-crossed lovers) than exploring one’s own real-life family drama.”