The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter

A Novel

Book - 2018
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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.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2018.
Edition: First Atria books hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781451649390
1451649398
Branch Call Number: F MORTON
Characteristics: 485 pages : map ; 24 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

This new novel is ambitious as it spans the mid-19th century to 2017 featuring a house (Birchwood Manor) and an iconic blue diamond pendant (the Radcliffe Blue).

“Events that occurred in the late 19th century at Birchwood Manor cast their shadows over the next 150 years, with various mysterious voices explaining how those events affected their lives. Attentive readers will be rewarded as clues are revealed. Atmospheric and perfect for gothic fiction fans ... Read More »


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MrsMungons
Jan 11, 2019

Kate Morton's best book yet. If you are put off by other reviews, begin this book by reading the very last page, the author's note. She writes 2 paragraphs about the themes she explores in the novel; yes this book is character-driven (and I loved the characters!), but the themes are what binds them together and brings sense and richness to each one.
I love this book, couldn't put it down. Each time the story flow changed to focus on a different character, I was bummed because I wanted to hear more about the current character I was on; then I would be drawn in all over again to the newly introduced character, and the pattern would repeat until they all wove together in a fascinating way.
Kate Morton is an amazing writer who requires a lot from her readers. I feel more intelligent after reading her works.

a
Adw555
Jan 08, 2019

Historical/present day mystery at Birchwood Manor.

Elodie is getting married! But is she as excited as she should be? Through her work as an archivist, she stumbles upon a mysterious satchel containing a sketchbook and photograph. Perhaps as a way to procrastinate on her wedding plans, Elodie dives headlong into finding out just who the young woman in the photograph actually is. Along the way, she finds information about a missing diamond, a murder, a disappearance, an unexplained fall from grace and unexpected connections to her own family.

Characters from different periods tease answers to the central questions of the book...who killed Radcliffe’s fiance in the robbery, what did Radcliffe’s muse have to do with the theft, and just where is the famous Radcliffe blue diamond now?

Pros: Expansive, descriptive, lovely writing.

Cons: Way too long, and the characters just didn’t seem to connect enough for my liking. I enjoy a book that jumps around with its’ timelines, but this one was all over the place and it would take me awhile to figure out what the featured character had to do with the story, other than also being associated with Birchwood Manor.

I LOVE Kate Morton’s books, especially the House at Riverton, but I think this one just got away from her.

3 Stars

w
WoodneathRachel
Dec 30, 2018

I always enjoy Kate Morton's writing - her characters are both interesting and sympathetic and her attention to historical detail is unparalleled. The shifting perspectives and timelines in this novel could get a bit disorienting, but it underscored the point she was trying to make - that time is fluid and ever-shifting.

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brangwinn
Dec 29, 2018

Morton does a great job of introducing a modern character and creating a story in which the past is just as important. I loved the fact that Elodie has what could be construed as a boring job, that of archivist. But yet as every history buff, knows, tracing the history of something from the past can be fascinating. Morton melds the story of a modern young woman with that of a Victorian painter very well.

b
Beverleigh
Dec 24, 2018

I can't rate as I only got half way through. I had high expectations and hoped it would capture my interest but after investing time to read half of it I just gave up. I have read other books by Kate Morton and enjoyed them. Not her best; I got bored.

r
rentabook
Dec 18, 2018

I couldn’t finish this book. I found it difficult to keep up with who the characters were and when in time they existed. Maybe if I had more time to read large parts of it at one time but only reading it twenty pages at a time made it very confusing for me. I gave up half way through.

e
ethjor
Dec 08, 2018

Very hard to get in to. Not one of her best books at all.

LoganLib_Phoebe Dec 05, 2018

Kate Morton does not disappoint with this ambitious novel that spans different times and is told by different voices but returns to the same place again and again...Birchwood Manor. The house of secrets is the site of both happiness and tragedy over the years but above all, it is the place that serves as a turning point in many lives. What are the connections that bind people together and what is the real story of the Clockmaker's daughter?

m
meganhowie
Dec 03, 2018

One of my favourite books of hers! She does such an incredible job of weaving so many different characters together through time and she keeps you wanting to read more. Such a talented author.

l
LoganLib_Colleen
Nov 22, 2018

The Clockmaker's Daughter is another of Kate Morton's wonderful books. It includes all of her trademarks - a mystery from the past is revisited in the present, and in the unravelling of this mystery we hear from many characters across a wide span of time. She creates such endearing characters, and combined with her beautifully lyrical prose, she brings her books to life.

I listened to the Audiobook of the Clockmaker's Daughter and found that the time changes could be a challenge when listening to this book. But it wasn't a big problem as I am just listening to it a second time!

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