Follow Us @burtonreview

Sep 3, 2018

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton




The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton
Review copy via netgalley
Atria Books, October 2018


From the bestselling author of The House at Riverton and The Secret Keeper, Kate Morton brings us her dazzling sixth novel, The Clockmaker's Daughter. 
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 a 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.
It took me a month to read this book. July 17th I was enthralled with the amazing lyrical first sentences and I was so excited to begin another adventure from Kate Morton's mind! The writing style is definitely something to be envious of, but this actual story was so long and slow going that I was so relieved when I was done with it. I definitely could have lived without this cobweb of forgettable characters and not to mention the fact that the house was a character, too...

In a nutshell as I understood it is that a few artists meet at the spooky house and something crazy happens and the artist's lives are never the same and now the current generation tries to unravel what happened. Schoolgirls, siblings, parents,  and lovers' lives all intermingle into this story of a house and a rare blue stone.

My status updates on Goodreads while reading this reminded me of how I kept falling asleep while reading it. I think if the main character Elodie was an actual main character instead of disappearing from the plot for chapters on end it may have helped with the transitional periods but I don't know. Somehow it was all supposed to come together but it never did for me and it seemed that the author was so tired of the story that she finally just ended it, the end. Definitely a novel you're going to really get, or really hate.

I adored The Lake House and The Forgotten Garden, so all hope is not lost as I still have some others from Morton's backlist to read.


I turned off commenting long ago on the blog but I welcome comments at the Facebook page here.