Cover Image: The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter

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Member Reviews

“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 conceals.”

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? 

I’m the biggest Kate Morton fan!! She is the kind of storyteller that makes me forget about everything around me and I just melt into her world. “The Clockmakers Daughter”, is another beautifully woven tale spanning 150 years; I was captivated by the majority of this story, but there were a few moments that was a little long and very slow...now had this probably been any other author I would have thought this as a major negative, but I knew Morton had her reasons and of course everything comes together in her genius puzzle like mind and I ended up really enjoying the ending. 

Halfway through I decided to switch over to the audiobook, because I wanted to read this book every chance I could get, but I have been so busy. Audiobooks always come in handy in situations like these and I’m so glad I did because little did I know, but the narrator is none other than Anna off of Downton Abbey! She brought the story to life in a whole new way! 

So overall, not my favorite from Morton but still great!
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The Clockmaker's Daughter is a seriously heavy read until you figure out all the characters. Kate Morton never disappoints me with her beautiful writing!
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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.
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A good mystery along with an unusual ghost.  I had a hard time with the jumping back and forth in time and keeping the characters straight. But I persevered so I could find out the ending which I had already figured out. Not sure that this should have been the title as I was confused on that thru over half the story.
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I've been singing the praises of Kate Morton for a long time now, and I'm happy to say that now when I recommend her, people no longer say "Who? Never heard of her!". She's finally getting the recognition she deserves for her mesmerizing second-to-none prose. While I had a few issues with her latest, The Clockmaker's Daughter, it still told a terrific story.

A word of warning -- if you're looking for an easy-breezy read where you don't have to think too much, this one isn't for you. Morton uses multiple time periods and many characters to create her puzzle, so you're definitely going to want to turn off the TV and get the kids out of the room before you dive in. In 1862, a group of artists, led by Edward Radcliffe, turn Birchwood Manor into a retreat of creativity. Before the summer is through, however, one of them will be shot dead, and Lily Millington (AKA The Clockmaker's Daughter and Edward's love and muse) will have disappeared. This is just one facet of Morton's novel; she weaves back and forth in time until finally, at the end, we have our answer as to what really happened that summer.

Here, Morton stays true to her sophisticated, smart writing. However, while at times I was on the edge of my seat, in other instances, it was difficult to keep all the stories and time periods straight. I also thought the entire book could have been trimmed at least 100 pages. So while not my favorite Morton book, it's still a great addition to her collection.

MY RATING - 3.5
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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.
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I absolutely adore Kate Morton and this book does not disappoint at all. In comparison to some of her other books, I didn't connect to it as much but on its own it is outstanding! I highly recommend!!
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The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton is a 2018 Atria Books publication.

As the early reviews for this book started to trickle in, I was concerned by too many opening lines that began with: ‘I love Kate Morton’s books, she is one of my favorite authors, but…’

In a year where I’ve been very disappointed in some of my favorite authors, I was terrified it was about to happen again. However, I was determined to keep an open mind, and still eagerly anticipated reading this one. But, by the time the book made it to the top of the heap, I also felt a great deal of trepidation. 

The writing, as always, is simply mesmerizing. Morton’s prose is eloquent and often a thing of beauty. But, the story, this time around, failed to draw me in. I even put the book aside for a while and picked it back up in October hoping the ghostly theme would fit into my fall and Halloween frame of mind. 

Sadly, I still struggled with it, mightily. For one thing, the pacing is too slow, and there is that large cast of characters, something I tend to struggle with, even under the best of circumstances. I often complain I'm not receiving enough of a challenge in my books. I feel authors often dumb things down for mass consumption, but in this case, I had to work entirely too hard to piece the puzzle together. As embarrassing as it is to admit, when I finished the book I was just plain confused. I had to go back and re-read large portions of the story before it finally came together for me. After all that labor, the ending was very anticlimactic, unsatisfactory, and literally limped across the finish line. 

I’ve put off writing this review because I just didn’t feel up to the grueling exercise of trying to articulate my thoughts, especially since, like so many others, Morton is one my all -time favorite writers. Her talent is still quite evident, but with Morton, who is the opposite of prolific, I will have the taste of this book in my mouth for a long time before she provides me with an opportunity to rinse it out. 

However, I do think I may still have one of her back-listed titles languishing in my TBR pile, so maybe that will help cleanse the palate until Morton offers more sustenance- hopefully, sooner, rather than later. 

2.5 rounded up- mainly because the prose is second to none
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I actually couldn't finish this book, I may come back at some point, but this one was hard for me to get into and I eventually just stopped reading it. Maybe it was wrong timing, but this book just wasn't for me.
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The first character we meet in The Clockmaker’s Daughter is the ghost of the clockmaker’s daughter. Although she used the name Lily Millington, we don’t find out her true name, or why she haunts Birchwood Manor, until the end of the novel.

The novel begins in the present, though, with Elodie, an archivist. She is about to be married, but she is having trouble concentrating on the wedding. That is because, in going through the archive of James W. Stratton, a philanthropist, she has found the belongings of a Victorian artist, Edward Radcliffe, in particular, a sketchbook. This discovery is of interest because inside it is a picture that she realizes is of a house from a children’s story handed down in her own family.

While Elodie begins exploring this link between Radcliffe and her family, we slowly hear the stories of Lily Millington, of a beloved house, and of a long-lost family heirloom. We also learn the stories of a series of inhabitants of the house.

Although I love a good ghost story, I wasn’t sure whether I would appreciate the ghost being one of the narrators. And this is not a traditional ghost story, for the ghost is not one that frightens. Kate Morton is a masterful storyteller, however, so that I was engrossed as always. Although this is not my favorite book by Morton, which still remains The Forgotten Garden, I really enjoyed it.
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The Clockmaker’s Daughter was my first book by Kate Morton. I have heard a lot about this author, as she is loved by many. So I decided to give her newest release a try. This book begins with two stories - the clockmaker’s daughter, Birdie, and Elodie, a young woman in the present, who has made a recent discovery. From there the Book branches through time and many characters to tell the story of The Clockmaker’s Daughter, and the Birchwood Manor. 

While there were parts of the story I loved, I found myself getting bogged down in keeping all the characters straight. I read this with a group of other women (with the bigbookbuddyread) and we found ourselves having to make charts to keep all the characters and connections straight. For me this took away from the ease and enjoyment of reading. I wanted to be swept away and I just wasn’t. Others in the group did enjoy this book. So I would recommend it if you can handle complicated story lines. The book was beautifully written, so regardless of this book I will check out others written by her. 

I ended up giving this book three stars because I did find it interesting how the book was tied up in the end. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book!
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Kate Morton's The Clockmaker's Daughter is an ambitious novel.  I love Kate Morton and her beautiful historical fiction, however, this book was not for me.  Elodie, a young archivist, discovers a knapsack and vintage photograph which leads her on an adventure of discovery of Edward, an artist from the late 1800's.  I had a difficult time keeping track of the characters, time-switching and the appearance of spirits/ghosts.  Overall, I had a hard time following the plot line.  I love the idea of the novel-it's a beautiful story, but its execution left me confused.
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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have been a fan of Kate Morton ever since reading the Secret Keeper, I love her writing style and her stories. 
However this book was a bit different. It was still beautifully written but there were just too many story lines and characters to keep track of.

All in all a beautiful book as usual from Kate Morton but not her best in my opinion.
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The Clockmaker's Daughter was my first time reading a book by Kate Morton, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. The plot is multi-faceted and complex, and the prose is simply beautiful. 

This is a very complicated book to describe so I am not going to try to give a synopsis. I think reading the one on Goodreads gives you a good idea of what The Clockmaker's Daughter is about without giving too much away. Like I said though, this is a very complicated book and there are a lot of characters and a lot of time jumps. I was truly blown away by the amount of time Morton spends setting each scene and introducing us to an entire cast of characters. She is very thorough and I have no idea how she kept everything straight while writing this! 

I read The Clockmaker's Daughter with a group and the biggest complaint seemed to be how some of the characters didn't seem entirely necessary (plus the fact of there being so many) and all the time jumps got to be a bit confusing. If you are not used to a lot of characters it would be a good idea to make yourself a timeline while reading this, and add the characters and bits of what is going on with them. While I was reading I did not do this, but someone in the group did and when I was done it was very helpful for me to go back and read it.

Final Thought: The Clockmaker's Daughter is an intricately woven story of the past and present coming together, and the ties that bind us. I am so impressed with Morton's writing and I really can't wait to read her other books (which I have heard are even better). I would recommend this book to people that love books with lots of characters and moving parts, and watching them all come together for one tied together ending.
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This book was such a wild ride! I loved everything about this book. Every character and timeline pulled me in and I felt invested in every character and every storyline. I thought the pace of this book was perfect as I felt each character received a full telling of their time at Birchwood Manor without dragging out unnecessary details. I loved how one section would leave me hanging, only to be wrapped up in another characters story later on. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone!
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Birchwood Manor is an enchanting place; one that draws people in and weaves threads throughout the lives of the people who love it.  While working as an archivist, Elodie finds a box in the closet that has been hidden for over 40 years.  Inside she finds a satchel, an artist's sketchbook, a photo of a beautiful woman, and a bit of a love letter and thus begins our journey toward Birchwood Manor and its many inhabitants over the course of 150 years.

Kate Morton knows how to weave a story.  Her prose is beautiful in itself.  She tells us just enough to get us hooked and then expertly unfolds the tale in layers.  While I enjoyed this book, I found myself putting it down and having a hard time picking it up again.  There are many characters over the course of 150 years, so not all the characters were fleshed out as I would have liked.  Some of the characters' stories are more interesting than others, but it all comes back to the Summer of 1862.  I am used to more twists and turns and a bit of WOW! moment from Morton, which this book lacked.  The characters lives are interwoven in ways that are pleasing, but some of the ends fall flat.  

This would not be the book of Morton's that I would recommend to a new Morton reader, but it was enjoyable all the same.
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3.2 - Rather jumbled for a Kate Morton novel; it seemed that there were too many characters and timelines, and I feel like the title is barely relevant to the story.
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I look forward to and definitely recommend titles by Kate Morton, international bestselling author of The House at Riverton, since she offers a kind of Gothic mystery that both challenges and entertains. There's suspense and a bit of romantic tension in each, including her latest, THE CLOCKMAKER'S DAUGHTER which was a LibraryReads selection in October. In this novel, which bridges 150 years, Morton introduces Edward Radcliffe and his artistic associates who are spending the summer of 1862 at Birchwood Manor on the upper Thames. Intending to escape and focus on creative endeavors, they instead experience a murder, a disappearance, and a jewelry theft. Once again, Morton features a house that bears witness through generations as a modern day archivist, Elodie Winslow, discovers a photo and drawing which prompt her hunt for family connections. Pick up this novel if you are looking for historical fiction dealing with art and secrets; THE CLOCKMAKER'S DAUGHTER received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.
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I have read many Kate Morton books and this one is missing the magic for me. I feel like the pieces all should be there but I lacked the connection of all the different parties through time. 

The prose is beautiful as always and I genuinely want to go visit England after reading of the beauty. I was invested in the mystery and wanted more from the still living characters. 

I will likely continue to read Kate Morton and will continue to recommend her books.
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This is my first Kate Morton novel and it will definitely not be my last!  This is was a great historical fiction with some mystery thrown in it. Even though there are lots of characters to keep up in the beginning, the second half of the novel was easier to follow and the multi-layered plot came together.  If you love a story interwoven between many decades of generations and beautiful English countryside scenery as a setting, then this is your kind of story!  I loved the story of a ghost being a main protagonist as well, watching everyone that ventures through Birchwood Manor upon the Thames River.  Kate Morton really knows how to tell a well thought out cast of characters within a long woven timeline.  Thank you to NetGalley for this free digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
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