The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter

by Kate Morton


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451649390
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 10/09/2018
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 9,923
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Kate Morton is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours, The Secret Keeper, The Lake House, and The Clockmaker’s Daughter. Her books are published in 34 languages and have been #1 bestsellers worldwide. She is a native Australian, holds degrees in dramatic art and English literature. She lives with her family in London and Australia.

Read an Excerpt

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.

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Clockmaker’s Daughter includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by 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.

More than 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?

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. The Clockmaker’s Daughter begins with the assertion that “We came to Birchwood Manor because Edward said that it was haunted. It wasn’t. Not then.” (p. 3) Who is narrating this passage? How does it create a sense of mystery surrounding Birchwood Manor? What are your initial impressions of the ground and house at Birchwood Manor?

2. Birdie describes Lily Millington as “her salvation.” (p. 99) How does Lily help Birdie adjust to life at Mrs. Mack’s? What survival skills does Lily teach Birdie? How else does Lily impact Birdie’s life and legacy?

3. Birchwood Manor feels like another character in the book. Edward writes “it has called to me for a long time, you see, for my new house and I are not strangers.” (p. 210) Discuss the connection that Edward feels to the house. What other characters feel a strong connection? Have you ever felt an attachment to a house where you’ve lived or visited?

4. Why do you think Kate Morton chose to title her novel The Clockmaker’s Daughter? Who is she? How does her story tie the other plotlines in the novel together? Did you find any of the connections surprising?

5. One of Edward’s most famous paintings is View from the Attic Window. Describe the painting? Birdie says that when she views the painting, “I do not associate it with the fields outside Birchwood Manor . . . it makes me think instead of small dark spaces, and stale air.” (p. 337) Why does View from the Attic Window make her feel claustrophobic? Describe the inspiration behind the painting.

6. Describe Elodie’s relationship with Alastair. She “had been flattered when [he] asked her to marry him.” (p. 24) Explain this statement. Why do you think that Elodie says yes to Alastair’s proposal? When does Elodie begin to realize they’re not well suited?

7. Why do you think that Pale Joe shows Birdie kindness? Describe their friendship. What does each offer the other? Were you surprised to realize who Pale Joe is? Why do you think Birdie is willing to share her nickname with Pale Joe?

8. Storytelling is a central theme in the novel. When Elodie asks her father about the bedtime story from her childhood, he tells her that he thought it might be too scary for a child but that Lauren, Elodie’s mother, felt that “childhood was a frightening time and that hearing scary stories was a way of feeling less alone.” (p. 20) Do you agree with Lauren? What other purposes does storytelling serve? How does Kate Morton connect the characters within The Clockmaker’s Daughter?

9. Penelope suggests that Elodie walk down the aisle at her wedding accompanied by a video of her mother, Lauren Adler, playing the cello. Why do you think that Penelope makes the suggestion? What does Pippa think? Do you agree with her? Why or why not? Were you surprised by Elodie’s final decision with regard to the videos? Explain your answer.

10. Elodie handles the archives of James Stratton. Who is he and why are his archives significant? Were you surprised to learn of his connection to Birchwood Manor? Based on James’s romantic history, “[i]t seemed to Elodie almost as if he’d set our purposely to choose women who wouldn’t—or couldn’t—make him happy.” (p. 16) Do you agree? Why do you think that James chose the partners that he did?

11. According to Birdie, Fanny “has become a tragic heroine, impossible though that is for one who knew her in life to believe.” (p. 131) What did you think of Fanny? Describe her relationship with Edward. Compare his relationships with Fanny and Birdie. How is Edward different when he is with Birdie?

12. What did you think of Mrs. Mack? What kind of activities does she require Birdie to take part in to earn her keep? Why do you think that Mrs. Mack takes pains to remind Birdie that her mother had been a proper lady? Do you think she takes good care of Birdie?

13. When Ada learns that she is going to be staying at Miss Radcliffe’s School for Young Ladies, the narrator writes “School. Young ladies. Welcome. Ada liked words—she collected them—but those four hit her like bricks.” (p. 159) What do you think of Ada’s school and how her parents told her that she would be attending?

14. “Ada’s parents had left her at Miss Radcliffe’s School for Young Ladies in the misguided expectation that she would be magically transformed into a proper English schoolgirl.” (p. 164) Do you agree that this is the mission of Miss Radcliffe’s school? Does she achieve it? Explain your answer.

15. What did you think of Jack? How does his life intersect with Elodie? What do they discover together? How does their chance encounter affect their lives?

Enhance Your Book Club

1. When Tip and Elodie discuss her impending wedding, Tip asks about Alastair, telling her, “It’s important to pick someone who can make you laugh.” (p. 89) Discuss Tip’s advice with your book club. What traits do you think are important in a romantic partner? What advice would you give to Elodie as her wedding approaches?

2. Many of the characters receive meaningful gifts in The Clockmaker’s Daughter. Edward gives Birdie a clock and Elodie receives a hand-crafted trinket box from her great-uncle Tip. Discuss why these gifts are so meaningful to each of the women. Have you ever received any gifts that were particularly significant to you? Describe them to your book club taking the time to explain why they were so important.

3. As an eighteen-year-old student at Oxford, Leonard discovers Modern Art, a discovery that “transformed rapidly into a passion.” (p. 211) Leonard is stirred by Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. View these paintings and discuss them with your book club. Why do you think Leonard finds them so inspiring? What did you think of the paintings?

4. When Ada asks Shashi to tell her a story during the daytime, she expects Shashi to say “no” because “Ada knew the rules. The best storytellers only ever spoke by dark.” (p. 153) Do you agree with Ada? What do you think makes for a good storyteller? Are there any stories you remember from your childhood?

5. To learn more about Kate Morton, visit her official site at, read about her other books, and find out when she will be in a city near you.

Customer Reviews

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The Clockmaker's Daughter (B&N Exclusive Edition) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
While I really enjoyed the book I felt like the book was unfinished. For me there really wasn't a resolution for Elodie or Jack. Their stories felt like they were just beginning at the end of the book. I did like how everything and everyone got tied up nicely in the end. Overall it was a really good story. The plot had many twists and without giving too much away I honestly did not expect the roles certain characters took on in the mystery as they did.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I have read all of Kate Morton's previous books and liked them, but I'm on page 182 of this one and wondering if I'll be able to finish it. So far it is incredibly boring and chaotic. Definitely not what I expected.
Anonymous 4 months ago
As all of Ms Morton’s books, confusing when bouncing back and forth in time, but all becomes clear in the end!
Anonymous 5 months ago
This is a wonderful book. She is my new favorite author. I am usually not a major romantic/mystery reader, but this book made me absolutly love this combination. I am going to buy this book and 4 more by this author. As soon as I finish reading my 900 pg book about the tudors and ann rice vampire chronical book.
Anonymous 16 days ago
I am a big fan of Kate Morton- have read all of her books. Love them all with my favorite being " House at Riverton". But this book didn't measure up. Too much jumping around- too many characters. There were good moments, but the overall story did not flow. Such a disappointment! If you want to try this author, read any of her other books!
Anonymous 17 days ago
I love Kate Morton's books and have read them all. But i have to say that this one's ending left me confused and it felt disconnected and I had questions unanswered. I will reread it and will continue to read her books.
Anonymous 21 days ago
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Anonymous 4 months ago
‘'The Clockmaker’s Daughter’ by Kate Morton follows present-day archivist Elodie Winslow as she comes across a mysterious and very old leather satchel carrying a photograph of a striking Victorian woman, and a sketchbook with a drawing of a twin-gabled house Elodie swears she’s seen before. But how? Over 150 years before Elodie comes across the satchel, in the summer of 1862, a group of artist friends coverage at Edward Radcliffe’s Birchwood Manor, ready to spend a month absorbed in the Upper Thames, their art, and each other. But, before the summer can come to a dreamy end as planned, one woman is dead, another is missing, a rare antique has been stolen, and life will never again be the same for this group of young artists - especially not for Edward Radcliffe. What exactly happened behind the walls of Birchwood Manor in 1862, and why is a place haunted by such mystery and tragedy so vividly familiar to Elodie? And who is the mysterious woman in the photograph, who seems to be at the center of it all? Told in multiple POV’s, across multiple time periods, ‘The Clockmaker’s Daughter’ is a story of murder, forbidden love, theft, art, and the transformative, timeless effects of love and of grief, all converging around one place - Birchwood Manor. This is the first Kate Morton book I’ve ever read, and I have to say I found 'The Clockmaker’s Daughter' to be lyrically written, atmospheric, and haunting. It’s a literary work of art, for sure. 'The Clockmaker’s Daughter' is a book that takes its time. It unfurls its mysteries like a foggy day reveals the surrounding world as it dreamily burns back up into the atmosphere. This is definitely a book with which you need to have patience while it simmers. Its style is very old-world - harking back to both the language and literary style that was popular during the 1800's. Very fitting for the setting. While this book was beautiful and lush, and the story engaging enough that I read it cover-to-cover, I wasn’t immediately sucked in. It took me time to settle into the story, and once I was, a shift in time and character would come along and jolt me right out of my cozy rhythm. I liked reading about the different characters and their time periods, but there were so many POV’s - something I’m not typically fond of - that it made the book choppy and slightly hard to follow. This one took me a while to read because it had a hard time keeping my attention. And yet...I loved this. The charm of 'The Clockmaker's Daughter' was irresistible, and though it took me a while to finish, in that time the story smoothly and slickly spun itself around me and bundled me snugly up in its web. It will remain with me for some time. 'The Clockmaker’s Daughter’ is a beautifully written, old-world style mystery that you can take your time with, and savor. It’s not a quick read, and there’s a lot to take in, but as long as you know that going in, you’ll love it and be able to enjoy it. If you like unfrenzied, exquisite novels, 'The Clockmaker’s Daughter' is for you, and definitely recommended. I’m looking forward to discovering some of Morton’s other work! I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Anonymous 22 days ago
gaele 5 months ago
Initially intrigued with the premise of a long-ago tragedy reaching forward to impact the present, particularly as the tragedy was from the Victorian era, I dove into the book hoping for a story that transported while showing the interconnection and impact of the initial event over the years. And while individual points of view are both beautifully written and hold description and emotion that lead readers to want more – the book failed to captivate me, and I was left often wondering about characters who shared information and seemed to be ‘important’ who just went poof. When you add this lack of threads and a twisty-turny meandering path to any sort of answers, and then make the choice to not clearly define narrative points of view, the story gets lost in the ‘who was that and why are they speaking’ questions that arose. And many of those moments arose, as Morton chose to use multiple (I lost count) narrative voices – some sharing information, others simple impressions and others still whose point I have yet to discern. I wanted a touch of a gothic feel, a bit of ‘oh so that’s why X did that” that would, if not instantly then eventually give me a sense of how a murder and a house could effect the lives (not necessarily for the better) some 250 years later. And sadly, I didn’t’ get that – and found myself hard-pressed to muddle through proclamations and moments from characters that were ill-defined and often felt randomly placed as I tried to work out the one thread and touchstone for the story. It never came. I’m sure that fans of Morton’s writing will love this – but as a first introduction to her work I found it didn’t hold my interest or my attention past an hour at a shot. While the writing is lovely – and her prose is exceptional – it was the plotting choices and characters that never quite developed into anything beyond nebulous that has me disinclined to read her books again. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
cloggiedownunder 5 months ago
4.5★s The Clockmaker’s Daughter is the sixth novel by Australian author, Kate Morton. When bank archivist Elodie Winslow opens a long-forgotten box, she’s fascinated by the contents, in particular a leather satchel containing a sketch book and a photograph of a beautiful young woman. While it should relate somehow to the founder of Stratton, Cadwell & Co., James Stratton, it is apparent that some items belonged to nineteenth-century-artist, Edward Radcliffe. But one sketch especially resonates with Elodie: she’s convinced it is the place of her mother’s bedtime stories. Edward had purchased Birchwood Manor because he felt a strong connection with the place. The plan had been for the Magenta brotherhood to spend the summer of 1862 there, engaged in artistic pursuits. But the intruder who shot and killed Edward’s fiancée, Fanny Brown, had put a premature end to that. Edward's utter devastation was to be expected after such a tragedy. The precious Radcliffe Blue was now missing, and the Police report implicated Edward’s most recent model, a woman going by the name of Lily Millington, but not everyone believed that version of events. What really happened? And did it have anything to do with the satchel, the sketch book and the photograph that Elodie had found? Morton's latest offering weaves the stories of many characters, in the form of anecdotes, vignettes or short stories in themselves, together into one epic tale that spans over a hundred and fifty years, and that ultimately reveals the answers to mysteries and connections, to each other, and to the house. Such an epic needs many narrators, so the cast is not small, even including a ghost, and yet there are often barely a few degrees of separation between them. Morton does tend to use coincidence, which can occasionally make the final reveal seem contrived, but readers familiar with her work will be aware of what to expect. There is no lack of parallels between the lives of various characters and while it is easy to hope for the best for those whose stories are told, some (Ada, Lucy, Winston) hold particular appeal and, for most readers, young Tip will be the stand-out favourite. There are some suitably nasty characters as well, one whose idea of friendship leaves much to be desired. This is a story with twists and red herrings, with grief and guilt, with theft and treasure and hidden spaces, with love of many sorts and a heart-warming ending. Classic Kate Morton. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Allen & Unwin.
SecondRunReviews 5 days ago
The Clockmaker’s Daughter is different from Morton’s other novels (and I've read them all!). The differences are distinct enough that some fans of her work might be disappointed. For me though, I wonder if The Clockmaker’s Daughter might mark a growth in Morton’s writing style that makes it more of a reflection of real life. Not everyone’s story ends perfectly. Sometimes, we must just accept what happens and continue to tell the story, and hope others learn from past mistakes and missteps.
Anonymous 9 days ago
The book was pretty good. There was too many characters. I found myself back tracking in order to keep everyone straight. I would still recommend the book.
Anonymous 9 days ago
This is the third novel that I have read by Kate Morton and it is by far my favorite. I loved this novel! I am going to give it one of my rare five star reviews and say that it is one of my best reads of the year. Aptly named with an allusion about time, The Clockmaker's Daughter takes place in different periods including the 1860's, 1899, 1928, WWII, 1962 and the present. Like the exquisite, interlocking, sensitive and perfectly balanced workings of a clock. the characters are connected over time and in their relationships. The revelations of the interconnections add depth and emotional resonance to the novel. The plot is complex as would be expected in a novel that keeps the reader's interest for over 500 pages. Characters include an artist, his model and their circle; the backstory of the model; the artist's family; a young British girl sent to boarding school in England from India; an archivist; a biographer; a hunter of lost treasure and more. The most consistent and overarching presence is that of Birdie, the clockmaker's daughter and artist's model who is a spiritual (ghostly) presence throughout. For me Birdie worked perfectly even though I do not gravitate toward books with spirits. The other main character is the house where much of the story takes place. Within the pages there are mysteries, murder, love, grief, family and friendship. I was sorry to finish this book as I enjoyed it so much. I hope that you will too. Many, many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this wonderful and engrossing read.
dasNJ 12 days ago
Kate Morton is an extraordinary writer. I loved how she wrote about the relationship between a mother and her children -- very insightful. She has a natural way of writing that draws you in and is easy to envision. I felt in this book she has grown as an author as she wrote in-depth about the characters' fears, desires and motives. My only regret/disappointment was the ending she chose for Birdie -- I won't go into further details so as not to spoil it for other readers.
TheBookishHooker 15 days ago
The Clockmaker’s Daughter is focused on the history of Birchwood Manor, an English estate on the banks of the Thames. The rich, atmospheric narrative spans over 150 years from a fateful summer in 1862 to the near present day and a researcher’s hunt for the truth behind her mother’s death. The lives of the characters intertwine in a way only Kate Morton can write, keeping the reader in suspense until the very end. Even with the unexpected addition of a supernatural element, this was my favorite of the five Kate Morton novels I have read (I still lack The Forgotten Garden.) The way the characters and plot points from decades apart can connect to become one story never ceases to amaze me. There’s always a wonderful feeling of mystery and suspense while keeping the overall genre of the book neatly in the fiction section. No one does historical fiction quite like Kate Morton! Thank you to the publisher, Atria Books, and NetGalley for the advanced copy.
Anonymous 21 days ago
I have read all of Kate Morton's books but this one was a bit of a disappointment. The constant change in time was often confusing. It was hard for me to keep all the character's because there did not seem to be a smooth flow between eras. It was a good story but I was also disappointed in the ending.
Babette-dYveine 29 days ago
I have read all of Kate Morton's books and loved them. In fact, I loved The Secret Keeper so much, I read it twice. However, I did not like this book at all. I was really looking forward to it, and pre-ordered it a soon as it was available. It was beautifully written, as always, but I found it totally confusing. It went from one time period to another, and it took quite awhile to figure out the connections between them, or the people in each. Maybe if I read it a second time, I'll understand it better, but I really shouldn't have to, should I? There were also many unanswered questions at the end, as if it stopped midstream. PS -- How can I get a free copy of her next book, as several of the other reviewers have?
Book_and_recipe_Examiner 4 months ago
Elodie Winslow lives in London, working in a basement cataloging the archives of Stratton, Caldwell, and Co. She’s engaged to a man whose mother is obsessed with her own deceased mother’s musical performances and tragic end. Expected to have an elegant, high-society wedding, Elodie is much more interested in researching the contents of an old leather monogrammed satchel she’s discovered: a black leather sketchbook with an unknown man’s initials, and inside a small silver frame, a photo of a captivating woman and a scribbled, torn note about love and madness. However what ensnares her most is a sketch of a place her mother described in bedtime stories: a river, woods, and a very detailed gabled house that Elodie had, until now, believed to be fabricated by her mother’s imagination. “They all have a story, the ones to whom I am drawn...a loss that ties them together.” Another woman also narrates elements of a mysterious tragedy, a ghost who hid behind the name of a deceased friend to attain the life she desired but was denied because of the greed of her captors. She haunts the manor house now, watching the man who is searching for a lost gem, eager for someone curious enough to piece together the missing components of her life and those she left behind. Filled with all the people across centuries who have suffered loss and lived within the haunted walls of Birchwood Manor, often unknowingly beside its longest inhabitant, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a riveting, revelatory novel that begs to be reread immediately after its layers of secrets have been unpeeled. With a web of characters so intricately interlaced, this story is a treasure of interwoven tragedies and the history of a house’s skeletons. For the themed recipe to match this book for Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting, as well as discussion questions and a list of similar books, visit
Anonymous 4 months ago
I did not receive an advance copy of this book. I bought it like an average Joe. I have read all of Kate Morton's other novels and was really excited when I heard another was being released. I chose it as a selection in my Book of the Month club. I won't do a re-telling of the story. Others have done that in their reviews. This is just my opinion of the book. I found it very difficult to get into this book. The first half took me about a week and a half to slog through. I thought the number of people involved in the story to be quite numerous and as chapters are told from various viewpoints throughout 150 years, well, it took a minute to figure out where we were at in terms of who and when. That being said, I read the second half of the book in one cold, rainy afternoon/evening. The last third of the book really picked up for me. All the threads that are pulled out at the beginning, all of the characters are tied together and laid out like a pretty little bow. However, loose threads remained for me and I am left with a few unanswered questions. That is not a bad thing but I wish there were some concrete answers instead of being left to wonder. While great care is taken to tie these many characters together in the telling of this story, one is left hanging as to what happens to the characters in the current age (Elodie and Jack). There were a few other things, too, I wish I could know but to put them here would be to insert some spoilers and I don't want to do that. I do recommend this book . It is a hauntingly beautiful story, very well told. You will really love most of the characters; a few are just horrible people. If you are bored with it, just keep going because you'll love how it all comes together.
taramichelle 4 months ago
The Clockmaker’s Daughter was an engaging and entertaining mystery that followed a huge cast of characters in different time period. The first half dragged a bit for me but then I flew through the second half. I think the slow beginning was partially because of all the different stories that Morton had to establish. The story in general could have been a bit shorter. I did love how everything ultimately connected together, some actions echoing throughout the ages. The mystery was so intriguing as well, I enjoyed coming up with guesses as to what happened that fateful night. I had some trouble keeping the characters straight because there were just so many of them. Also, some viewpoints were introduced toward the end of the book, which always made me question if I’d missed them before or if they were somebody else. But, overall, I liked all of the characters. They so well developed and realistic. Plus Morton’s writing was beautiful. If you’re a fan of Morton or love historical fiction, consider checking this one out! *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
5669317 4 months ago
I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher and netgalley for my honest review. This novel is pretty epic! I love the way Kate Morton wove together so many stories from so many decades into one tale. Some chapters it took me half a minute to realize who and when I was reading about but in the end the overall story was wonderful.
NNLight 5 months ago
In the year 1862, a group of artists gather at Birchwood Manor at the request of Edward Radcliffe one summer to create beautiful works of art without the prying eyes of London. By the end of the summer, there’s a murder, missing artwork, theft and a disappearance. Archivist Elodie discovers historical artifacts in modern London. The more she stares at the aged photograph, the curiouser she becomes. Who is this woman and why does she feel such a connection to Birchwood Manor? She’s determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, even if it means uncovering hidden secrets within her own family. The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a historical mystery teeming with captivating characters, intricate twists and turns not to mention a group of artists escaping to an oasis in the country. While I enjoyed the multiple POVs, I found the transitions too quick and choppy. The mystery, however, kept me invested until the very end. If you’re a fan of Kate Morton and/or historical mystery, you’ve got to read this book! Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Simon & Schuster Canada/Atria Books via Netgalley in the hopes I’d review it. Favorite Character/Quote: 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.
BettyTaylor 5 months ago
Kate Morton’s genius is revealed with her latest book THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER. Be forewarned – the book is a journey - a journey through time, a journey through lives, a journey through hearts. The story may be difficult to follow at first as it weaves in and out through the ages and numerous characters are revealed. But once you grasp the essence of the story it becomes almost magical. Part One sets up the story in present day 2017 when archivist Elodie Winslow comes across an old leather satchel containing a journal and a framed photo. That statement is so mundane – Ms. Morton write it so much more beautifully. “The pinpricks of sudden light were a shock and the satchel, pressed deep inside the box, exhaled”. The satchel exhaled, she breathed life into that sentence! “Open me, the satchel urged Look inside”. Inside the satchel were a framed sepia photograph of a woman in Victorian-era clothing and an old monogrammed journal with numerous artist’s sketches. A sketch of a river scene and a twin-gabled house in the background filled her with a sense of déjà vu. She was overcome with the memory of a story her mother used to tell her, a children’s bedtime story. Then with the remainder of the book we meander back and forth throughout the decades from 1862 back to present-day 2017. (I admit that I was confused until I realized that the Roman numeral labeled chapters were all narrated by the same woman, a woman whose real name no one remembers, the woman who ties all the time periods together.) We learn that on a summer evening in 1862 a group of artist friends gathered at Birchwood Manor. That eventful evening after which none of their lives would ever be the same. The events of that night would remain buried in the memory of the one person who held all the pieces to the puzzle. A stranger had appeared, a woman was killed, another woman has disappeared, and a family gem vanished. Theories developed but only one person knew the truth. Morton then masterfully guides us along as she reveals piece by piece what happened on that cataclysmic evening until the horrific truth is revealed. “My real name, no one remembers. The truth about that summer, no one else knows.” To further demonstrate Morton’s genius, throughout this story of loss she also weaves a thread of peacefulness and love and belonging. In the end my heart ached at what was and what could have been. Thank you to Atria books and Will Rhino for the advance copy for my review.