Cover Image: The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This book was downright amazing. Told over the span of multiple generations, it all comes down to one name: Birdie Bell. 

The book starts out with a group of artists who spend the summer at Birchwood Manor, hoping to be inspired. But at the end of the summer, one person is dead, one is missing and one's life is in ruins. 

Then over a hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Windslow discovers an old leather bag with some unknown treasures inside. As she tries to figure out what they are and what they have to do with each other and possibly with her, you'll be on an adventure of a lifetime. 

This book is so fun, full of intrigue and mystery, and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Don't miss it!
Was this review helpful?
Once again Kate Morton knocks it out of the park with her wonderful imagination and attention to detail. As with all of her stories, Morton takes readers on a journey that spans decades. She creates as intricate plot that has readers traveling from place to place, as they attempt to piece together the story she develops. In this book, Morton focuses on a flourishing art community, where secrets are long buried, Years later a missing items appears and the secrets that have remains hidden are brought to light. As with her all her stories you will be treated to mystery, intrigue and romance. I can't recommend this book enough! If you are a fan of Morton's other works, you will thoroughly enjoy this epic new novel!
Was this review helpful?
I have to say I was a little let down by this book! I love historical fiction, and Kate Morton is one of those authors whose work is well known and loved by historical fiction readers, including myself. 

This novel was incredibly slow, the characters remained illusive. Not my favorite of Morton's but I'll still be reading whatever she writes next.
Was this review helpful?
Kate Morton is a fantastic author, so I knew I was in for a treat with this one (I mean look at that cover!!!) This book is definitely a bit of a slow build but is an incredible story with a wonderful ending. The writing was elegant and beautiful, the story (although it jumped around a bit - which I had been warned about) was a great one to uncover layer by layer.
Was this review helpful?
DNF @ 15%

My track record with Kate Morton isn’t great, The Secret Keeper-5 stars, The House at Riverton-3 stars, The Lake House-DNF, and now another DNF. I’m drawn to her stories because I’m a huge fan of the dual timelines, the English settings she favors, and this one apparently included a ghostie mystery! Unfortunately, I hadn’t even gotten to 10% before I was bored and confused because I think I had counted 5 different timelines and I was having to bust out my post-its to keep notes on who’s who. I’d still love to revisit Morton’s earlier works that everyone highly recommends (The Forgotten Garden and The Distant Hours) and hope that it comes close to the entertainment I found in The Secret Keeper.

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Was this review helpful?
The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a rich and layered book about the malleability of time. This story jumps back and forth across several different points in time. Each character seems of equal importance, but we discover early on that the main character is the clockmaker’s daughter, Birdie. This is the story of her life and death, sometimes told by her in first person narrative and at others by the people connected to her across time. It is a story of love, loss, and the connection between people and places. 

Kate Morton explores that which is impalpable—time, light, ghosts. In one scene Birdie attempts to capture light in a tin, only to discover that light (like time) is elusive. The Clockmaker’s Daughter binds together characters who have experienced loss, have their own ghosts they carry with them. Some of these characters are artists or photographers, forever trying to capture the intangible. Others have experienced the deep ache of loss and are attempting to fill it. 

Ar the center of the story is a place, Birchwood Manor. Every single main character has experienced this place, and perceived it to be magical in some way. This place is what connects the characters through the threads of time. 

Once these tangled threads have been worked through, Birdie’s story is complete and the confused muddle evaporates. 

This is was a deeply moving, meaningful book for anyone who has experienced loss or felt an intense pull towards a particular place or person. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for providing me with a free galley to review. 

4.5 ⭐️
Was this review helpful?
I would read anything by Kate Morton. She is truly a master of her craft; when I pick up one of her books, I know I am in for an immersive, beautiful read. 'The Clockmaker's Daughter' is no exception. I loved it. 

'The Clockmaker's Daughter' has the elements I've come to expect from Morton: complex characters; a detailed, historical backdrop; a bit of tragedy; a mystery at the heart of the story. The story and characters drew me in, and the mystery kept me reading late into the night. 

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of historical fiction, mysteries, ghost stories, or just beautifully written fiction in general.
Was this review helpful?
Another fantastic title from Kate Morton and I have been recommending this book frequently to people who are interested in historical fiction and mystery or who have read other books by Morton. Thank you!
Was this review helpful?
I'm always up for a new Kate Morton. I read this one at the beach this summer and found it so unlike her others—would you please hurry and read it so we can discuss? Set at an eerily charming home in the Oxfordshire countryside, the story follows two timelines, 150 years apart, linked by a priceless jewel—and one remarkable woman. I found this strikingly different from Morton's previous work, and would especially like to discuss the narrative voice, please.
Was this review helpful?
A very classic Kate Morton book. Elegantly written with the flawless characters and beautifully executed. I loved it.
Was this review helpful?
The layers of the plot keep it interesting without confusing the reader and muddying the waters.  Taking place over multiple generations, the author has created a story that follows various narrators in the telling of how they saw the events leading up to and following a murder and theft.  The characters are interesting and different, adding their own stories to the telling of the main one.  Great book!
Was this review helpful?
Kate Morton is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read every one of her books and given them all 4/5 stars. However, I could not even finish The Clockmaker’s Daughter. It might have been a case of the right book at the wrong time, but I think it had too many characters that were hard to keep track of. The plot was too spread out and convoluted for me as well, and I felt as if I needed to take notes to remember what was happening in each time period. I love Kate’s writing style and that remained the same, but I wish the story had been scaled back a bit. She still remains a must-read pre-order author for me, but this one just wasn’t for me. Oh well!
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for the opportunity to read this book. All opinions are my own.

Oh my goodness, what an absolute delight this book was. This was my first Kate Morton experience, and if it is indicative of her work then I’m in for a real treat with her backlist.

THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER spans years, decades, generations. It consists of several separate stories that center around a country manor along the Thames, and that all tie together in one way or another. The two main stories (the anchors, if you will) are that of present-day Elodie, who feels drawn to beautiful Birchwood Manor the minute she finds an old photograph of it, and that of artist Edward Rutherford and his muse, his love Lily Millington, who inhabit Birchwood Manor one fateful summer. 

This book was so exquisitely written, I savored each page and did not want it to end. Sometimes with books that contain many different characters and stories you don’t want to leave one and move on to the next, and some are weaker than others. I did not feel that way at all with this book. I loved each character I met, and while I didn’t want to leave them, I loved how their stories intersected and intertwined with each other. It’s a love story, a tragedy, a ghost story, a story of revenge and mystery. It has heartbreak and hope, and some of the most wonderful characters I’ve met in a long time. This ended up being a favorite of last year, and it will stick with me.
Was this review helpful?
After repeated attempts to get into both the book and the characters, I found that I just had to put it away and move on to something else.  I will not be providing further feedback or posting to any book site.  
I do wish the author well, but for now, I will have to part ways with this book
Was this review helpful?
Kate Morton gave herself quite a challenge with this book because of all the different story lines.  But if anyone is up to the task of bringing it all together, it's Ms. Morton.

I will admit it took me awhile to get into the story.  I was about 1/4 of the way in when there was the first connection between the past and the present.  I remember thinking - oh, okay, now this is going to get good.  I just had to find out how all the pieces of the puzzle were going to fit.

This is a book to be enjoyed slowly.  No skipping or skimming allowed.  Do not try to hurry, but savor every moment because at the end, you too may just think - magical.

My thanks to Atria Books and Netgalley.
Was this review helpful?
I’ve read some of the reviews of The Clockmaker’s Daughter and I have to agree with those who said they were lost.  I’m probably a bit different in that I don’t mind it too much if I find a book confusing, or I get a bit lost.  In this case, I had trouble keeping up with all the characters.  There is a lot going on, the story is told by different characters and in different time periods.  

We meet our first narrator in 1862, who I believe is the Clockmaker’s Daughter, in the first chapter as she is talking about an outing at Birchwood Manor.   Edward is an artist and he is painting a portrait of her.   She is talking lovingly about the house.  The house that she still inhabits.  

Then we jump to the summer of 2017.  We meet Elodie Winslow.  Elodie works at cataloging antique finds and archiving them.  While going through an old box, she discovers a leather satchel.  In it is a photograph of a woman in clothing from the 1800’s and a sketchbook.  In the sketchbook is a drawing of a house.  The house looks just like a house that was in the bedtime stories that Elodie’s mother told her. 

From there on, the story unfolds.  The events that happened back in Edward’s time, a jewelry theft and a murder.  While  in the current time, Elodie sets out to find out as much as she can about the sketch and the woman in the photograph. 

I admit, I was confused a lot of the time.  However, the writing is beautiful and descriptive and it was fine to just go along for the ride.  

I received an ARC of the book.
Was this review helpful?
3.5*
Kate Morton is able to breathe life into her characters, making them vivid and empathetic. Here she takes on a paranormal element by adding a ghost who haunts a house along the Thames. The story links the house, Birchwood Manor, to a number of characters over a period of years. Initially Edward Radcliff, a young talented artist, buys the house in the mid 1800’s and brings his artist friends there to paint and enjoy the pastoral atmosphere. When a tragedy occurs, the house is abandoned. Years later it is used by a woman and her children as they flee the bombings of London during the war. It eventually becomes a museum and in the contemporary setting two characters are researching the house and trying to uncover its secrets. 

Morton makes each of the timeframes come to life, however the story hops about a bit chaotically. Any of the timelines could have been a story by themselves but Morton weaves the threads of the various plots together through the connection to the house. 

This book has so much to recommend it but the overall reading may leave her fans a bit disappointed. The house and the people who live/visit there, are wonderfully drawn and each of their stories are compelling. It’s the disjointed way the plot progresses that is a bit off-putting. So much more could be said about Elodie, Jack, Leonard, Juliet, Edward and Lily. It’s like multiple plots tied without fully delving into their rich stories. It must be noted that the house that bands all the plots together is wonderfully described and is almost the equivalent of a central character.

The writing is beautiful and does not disappoint yet somehow the overall tale failed to match the brilliance of her earlier books. 

I am inclined to give this 4* for the characters and the writing but the book in total left me a bit flat and thus the 3.5* rating.
Was this review helpful?
I just couldn’t get into this one so I’m DNFing about 30% in. It was just kinda slow and not my speed, I don’t really know how to explain it, but I don’t think it was a bad book, just not for me.
Was this review helpful?
Overall, I quite enjoyed this story. It does jump around quite a bit, so be prepared to pay attention. My favorite character was the house! Birchwood Manor feels like a character; it is so central to all that happens. Wouldn't I love to have a tour of the place, maybe stay there a few days and chat with "Lily," the clockmaker's daughter of the title! We have a mystery running through the book- in 1862, a group of artists and their models spend the summer at the house, including Lily. Then one day in August, there is a break-in, a young woman is shot and killed, and a priceless diamond pendant is stolen. In the aftermath, Lily is nowhere to be found. Did she have something to do with the theft and murder, as history believes? Or was she a victim of circumstance? We do get the answers as we go along, but things do drag a bit in spots, and there are some things concerning the diamond and a missing, unfinished painting that stretched my credulity a bit. There are plenty of untidy endings at the finish, but that just gives one the chance to contemplate what happened. I'd definitely recommend this book, but like I said, be ready to pay attention.
Was this review helpful?
This book reminded me a bit of one of Morton's other books in terms of setting and feel, though I can't quite place which. Perhaps The Forgotten Garden? Something about a tower sticks out in my mind... Anyway, this one had a unique element in that one of the historical characters was somewhat haunting the modern characters, which reminded me a bit of Susanna Kearsley's work, actually. Really, the whole feel of the novel was pretty powerful, sort of goosebump-inducing. I really loved the fact that her main (modern) character was an archivist who finds a distant connection to the historical character through her work - Morton could have done it the easy way by making Edward Radcliffe or the titular woman the subject of Elodie's archival work, but instead gave it a much more realistic feel. Definitely librarian-approved plotting in this instance and throughout the novel! I am continually impressed by Morton's ability to make her work feel both modern and Victorian Gothic all at once in both plot lines with the perfect balance. She is a Writer with a capital W for sure, and I continue to be in awe of her work!
Was this review helpful?