The Clockmaker's Daughter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Oct 2018

Member Reviews

This was a lovely, immersive read. Morton pulls together a contemporary tale of a young archivist and bride to be stumbling on a piece of historical significance and blends it with a rich gothic tale of forbidden love, missing gems and murder in the nineteenth century. 

This is a book to savour, a novel filled with rich details and settings easily visualized. The pace is slow but with so much for the reader to ponder, including the life of the nameless narrator, the story never drags. Brilliant storytelling. Morton at her best. 

ARC received with thanks from publisher via NetGalley
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Kate Morton is one of my go-to Historical Fiction authors. When you pick up one of her books, you know you're going to get a well-written story with accurate historical details that pull you into the plot and lives of the characters. After hearing her speak a couple of years ago on her The Lake House tour about how she comes up with her book plots and characters ideas, I became an even bigger fan.

In The Clockmaker's Daughter, Morton once again has beautiful, descriptive prose and you can tell she's done her research on the era. But, unfortunately, this wasn't my favourite Kate Morton book. 

I enjoy books that have two different time frames but in this book, there is an overabundance of jumping back and forth (WWI, WWII, 1850-1860's) making the book feel disjointed. There are also several subplots, different narrators and loads of characters - some of whom don't play a big role but their addition muddles things up when you're trying to keep track of who is who and which time frame you're dealing with.

I loved the premise and the mystery involved but, in the end, it was just an okay read for me. It pains me to give an average rating for this book, but I will always highly recommend Kate Morton for anyone who adores Historical Fiction with wonderfully evocative writing. If you're new to this author, try starting with a few of my favourites: The Forgotten Garden, The Secret Keeper or The Lake House. I eagerly look forward to her next book.
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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Clockmaker’s Daughter A Novel by Kate Morton from NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada in order to read and give an honest review.

… intricately woven into an absorbing, entertaining and hauntingly beautiful novel…

Kate Morton skillfully creates an epic gothic tale, intricately woven into an absorbing, entertaining and hauntingly beautiful novel that in my opinion is perhaps one of her best. The Clockmaker’s Daughter is so complex it’s difficult to summarize, there are layers upon layers of historical detail, mystery, love and loss with a touch of paranormal. 

The story follows multiple characters, shifting through different periods of time spanning from the 1860’s to the present day, all intertwined and connected to Birchwood Manor by the Thames.  One thing I love about Kate Morton’s work is she creates such fascinating and multifaceted characters with atmospheric settings that draw you into the story from the beginning. Each character is unique, the female characters strong and intelligent. In The Clockmaker’s Daughter, all of the characters are brilliant but one voice stands out for me, Birdie. We learn first-hand about her traumatic life, tragic death and her thoughts and feelings on both.

The story opens with London archivist Elodie Winslow, cataloguing the archives of James Stratton when she happens across a mysterious leather satchel containing a photograph of a stunning Victorian woman and a sketch of a mysterious house by the river. Elodie instantly feels connected to the items and is compelled to discover the origins of the house which is eerily similar to a house in a bedtime story her mother used to tell her before she died. Despite being in the middle of planning a wedding Elodie is determined to see whether it is, in fact, the house contained in the stories from her childhood. During her investigation, she discovers the satchel belongs to the artist, Edward Radcliffe and the photo is of his muse and secret love Lily and Elodie becomes obsessed with uncovering their story and is driven to visit Birchwood Manor.   The Manor’s incarnations include Edward Radcliffe’s artist’s retreat, a school for young ladies, home to a widow with three young children, the inspiration for a student’s thesis and lastly a museum dedicated to the artist Edward Radcliffe. Birchwood Manor, in some ways, seems to become a character in itself, the house seems to have a distinct personality. In each of its incarnations, the house holds a special space in each of the occupants’ hearts as well as concealing secrets in its walls about tragic events that occurred during the summer of 1862 which include murder, betrayal and loss.

I absolutely loved this book, it is not for those who are looking for a fast-paced page-turner, it definitely requires patience but it is a slow but satisfying read that is worth it and one I would highly recommend!
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Going into a Kate Morton novel I always know what to expect. There will be strong women, both in the past and in the present. A woman in the present will be researching and trying to solve a mystery which occurred in the past. Chapters will move between the two time periods and finally the mystery will be revealed near the end. Having a formula isn’t a bad thing and it obviously works for Morton. I am one of her many fans who eagerly awaits each new release with grabby hands. I was expecting beautiful writing, historical detail and a compelling mystery and that is exactly what I received.

This book was a bit different as it seemed to feature more characters than usual, several different time periods and multiple story-lines. This became very complex and a bit difficult to keep track of everything. There are several points of view and I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical when one of the chapters was narrated by an inanimate object. Only my trust in Kate Morton let me get past that and keep going. Everything and everyone is connected to the house, Birchwood Manor, but many of the connections that tie all the narratives together weren’t clear until much later so I really had to work to remember everything that happened and all the characters involved. It was still enjoyable but it definitely was not a mindless read. Not that I was expecting mindless but this was more intense work than I was expecting.

I didn’t connect to Elodie and the modern story-line as much as I was hoping. It seemed to pale a bit in comparison to the artists and Birdie in the past story-line. It’s a bit of a mystery to me because Elodie is a character I can very much relate to with her very particular habits and her meticulousness in general. I just didn’t find her sections very interesting. Luckily Birdie more than made up for that with her heartbreaking story. I was rooting for her so hard even though it’s very clear from the start that she is the ghost in the manor. Tragedy was obviously in the cards but I couldn’t help hoping that somehow she would find some happiness.

I’ve read a few of Kate Morton’s books and while they are often a bit melancholy this is by far the saddest. It is heart-rending and haunting in every way. The reveal of what had happened to our narrator ghost was an absolute shocker. I thought that I had it figured out but I never would have guessed what actually occurred. I may have teared up just a little because it really was such a horrific end for such a tough and vibrant character.

This isn’t the strongest Kate Morton book I’ve read but I did really like it. I think making it a bit shorter by removing some of the long and mostly unnecessary side-stories would have made this book more enjoyable but in the end it is Kate Morton and I love her.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.
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Traveling Sisters Group Read

This was my first book by Kate Morton and I really didn’t know what to expect from one of her books. I went into this one with a few other books on the go and I found out there are a few things you might need to know when you read The Clockmaker’s Daughter.

This is a story to savor every beautifully written detail and the story and characters need focus and attention. The story spans over 150 years and many themes are explored here and there is an extensive amount of characters being introduced through this atmospheric setting. The characters are interesting and engaging and ones you really want to take the time to get to know.

This one makes for a perfect buddy read or group read. We highly recommend for group reads. We really enjoyed our discussion and it was so great to share in the excitement with each other over this one. This is a story to really get lost in. It’s the perfect one to find to cozy up in your favorite reading spot with your choice of beverage, ignore the world and lock yourself into this story.

Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me an ARC to read and review! It was an absolute pleasure reading this fantastic novel!

For more reviews from the Traveling Sister, please check out our blog
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ou guys… when I discovered that Kate Morton finally write a new book, I did everything I could to get my hands on an advance copy. I’m talking desperate please and calling in favours. So a huge thanks to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me and advanced copy of The Clockmaker’s Daughter, I was able to read it while sitting quietly on a dock over the summer and it was everything I had hoped for.

Told in her usual fashion, this story stretches across many different eras and characters, who in the end all nicely intertwine to create another heartfelt story about love and loss. The narrators shift, giving unique personal insights to the different characters over the years and allow the secrets to unravel in a slow and intriguing way.

Be warned, there are moments where it seems like the story goes off in a huge, unconnected tangent about new people who can’t possibly have anything to do with anything. This threw me at first, but when things start to come together, it all makes sense, of course, and I got that feeling of excitement as the pieces clicked into place, making me feel silly for ever questioning whether Morton lost her touch.

I liked the characters a lot in this, as broad as they were. I really enjoyed the artists group that created the core story, and there were a number of smaller characters that didn’t have a ton to do with the overall story, but were a nice addition and as interesting and colourful as anyone else.

I am biased though, I would have loved this no matter what. There were times that this seemed a lot like some previous books, but I loved those books too so why mess with a good thing, right? If you’re as big a fan as I am, this won’t disappoint. Oh how it feels so great to have another Morton book on my shelf!
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One of my favourite authors, really enjoyed this book.  Easy to follow yet still captivating.  A little predictable in terms of the modern day story but loved the setting and flashbacks.
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THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER by Kate Morton is a story of love, romance, murder and mystery spanning one-hundred and fifty years, numerous timelines, several generations and various perspectives all connected to Birchwood Manor on the Upper Thames. 

One-hundred and fifty years earlier artist and painter Edward Radcliffe fell in love with his muse, a woman everyone came to know as Lily Millington, a woman who wasn’t whom she purported to be. The purchase of a country estate known as Birchwood Manor would bring together Edward and his fellow artists –the Magenta Brotherhood- wherein their lives where about to change forever.  A murder, the presumed departure and guilt of Lily Millington, and the disappearance of the Radcliffe Blue Diamond would kick-off a century and a half of rumors, innuendo, heartbreak and loss that followed one family from 1862 to 2017.

In 2017, Archivist Elodie Winslow went in search of her past, a past mired in secrets and death, but a past that Elodie was desperate to discover. With only a damaged photo, an old leather satchel, and stories of a time long ago, Elodie heads to Birchwood Manor to unearth the true about her mother’s life but Elodie isn’t the only one in search of the past as Birchwood Manor’s secrets are about to be exposed.

THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER is a slow building story line that follows several paths, and numerous timelines; of one family’s history of secrets and lies; and the spirit who is witness to everything and all. THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER is a story of ghosts, fairies and queens; of betrayal, loss, heartbreak and love as one family meanders a path between the present and the past.  

Kate Morton weaves an intricate and detailed story that at times is difficult to navigate as the perspectives and timelines invariably overlap between the present and several pasts. An intriguing story, THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER is a beautiful tale that will captivate and entertain; challenge and inflame.

Copy supplied by Netgalley





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4.5 stars!    Evocatively atmospheric.  Exquisitely detailed.   Brilliantly narrated.

Let me start by stating, I love Kate Morton!  She is one of my most favourite authors!   I have read and loved all of her books.   This one, although not the full 5 stars I was hoping for, does not disappoint.  I devoured this lengthy novel in days, putting aside all other reading to truly focus on her luscious and delectable writing.  This novel stole time away from things I should have been doing, while at the same time I was trying to truly savour every single word of Kate Morton’s brilliance. 

This is a multigeneration saga that expands well over 100 years involving love, loss, mystery, murder, art and many hidden secrets.   Each timeline adds a deeper layer to this intricately woven and highly detailed story.  There are multiple characters and a most memorable and divine English countryside setting that had me swooning.   Birchwood Manor, the main setting throughout this novel, is a character of its own and I fell in love with this old mansion that held many secrets.

I was engrossed within this mysterious tale from start to finish.   There were a few times, I had to stop and reread sections, as I found myself slightly confused within a few timelines and characters, however, my attention didn’t waiver.  It was a fully satisfying and memorable read that I would highly recommend.   

This was a Traveling Sister read. 

Thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Kate Morton for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

The Clockmaker’s Daughter is AVAILABLE NOW!
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I normally love Kate Morton but I found this book dragged on a bit too much for my liking, I think it could have been a more condensed story with less detail and fewer characters. I found it really hard to keep track of everyone and their backstory and the way it transitioned between was not smooth to me. I know there is a good story in there, but the style and way it was told just wasn't for me.
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Captivating, mysterious and spellbinding!

KATE MORTON once again put me under her spell with her fabulous new novel THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER.  The setting was just as bewitching as the storytelling!  I absolutely loved the fantastical elements of this story, learning all the secrets hidden in Birchwood Manor and the character connections to the ghostly presence of Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter which was so pivotal to the story for me.  I love me a good ghost story!  

THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER by KATE MORTON is an engrossing, wonderful, and breathtaking read here that offers many and such distinctive storylines that I found rather alluring and definitely appealed to me as a reader.  I was immediately drawn into this gothic story and it fully captivated my thoughts while I was reading this book. 

KATE MORTON skillfully delivers an absolutely beautiful, richly detailed, complex and atmospheric read here that vastly intertwines different time periods and multiple characters together into one astounding and powerful story.    

Even though I had to closely pay attention to all the characters and how they were connected to the story and Birchwood Manor it did not take away how entertaining and enjoyable this story was for me.  It was great storytelling and the whole story felt like I was doing just that reading a story!  I have been craving for a story just like this one and it definitely delivered! 
Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Eye-catching, stunning, pleasing, and grabbed my attention!  That cover alone made me want to read this book and savour every word.  A fitting representation to storyline and love how it played into the story so meaningfully. 
Title: Intriguing, pivotal, suspenseful, simple but yet an extremely fitting representation to storyline.  Even though The Clockmaker’s Daughter wasn’t necessarily a brilliant title, the ties that bind her to the story definitely was.    
Writing/Prose: Lyrical, insightful, engaging, beautiful, and detailed.  Morton’s writing style is beautifully detailed and poetic but it definitely required my full attention though.  I forgot how beautifully descriptive Morton writes!  Once I was able to fully immerse myself in this tale though (which didn’t take very long) and had the feel with how it was written it was much easier for me to read.   
Plot: Suspenseful, mysterious, alluring, engrossing, steady-paced, held my attention fully and extremely entertaining.  A little bit of patience goes a long way when reading this book! 
Ending: Bittersweet, satisfying, and ended with a bit of mystery.  Although I found it to be extremely fitting. 
Overall: An irresistible, relaxing, delightful, suspenseful, and fabulous read! An epic historical tale that was a little challenging to read at times but oh so worth it! Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada, and Kate Morton for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review!
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Thank you so much to Simon and Schuster Canada and Netgalley for this edition of The Clockmaker’s Daughter!

This book took me a while to read but I am so happy that I pushed through and finished it. It beautifully written, atmospheric and I am looking forward to reading more of Morton’s books.

There were distinct voices for different characters and I also liked how the chapters were titled differently for them! Morton weaves many story lines and timelines together in this novel and for most of the book I was left wondering how they were connected. I would be getting attached to a character and then the point of view would change to a brand new character. This did leave me wanting more character development and time with some characters. There were also lots of descriptions for things that I felt weren’t really moving the plot or characters forward. To be honest I did skim through some descriptions ( I have a 6 month old and my reading time is limited). I kept thinking this or that could have been edited but as I finished the book I saw how each point of view came together and really appreciated how intricate the web of the story was.

This book did not grab my attention at first but the more I read the more it drew me in and I’m so happy I continued with it. 4 / 5 stars from me!
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Kate Morton's latest novel is an epic read that spans multiple generations from the 1800's to present day. The plot jumps back and forth over time and uses multiple perspectives to tell the sad and tragic tale of the clockmaker's daughter.

The reader is transported to Birchwood Manor during several different eras using rich description and an inviting narrative style. The 400 year old house plays a pivotal role in linking everything together. The many characters are brought to life so that we know each one intimately. There are multi layers in this story with a number of intergenerational connections between characters. One needs to keep on top of the numerous characters and subplots or risk confusion.

The tone of the book reminded me of classic renaissance meets contemporary romance. There is also a paranormal aspect to the story that I think worked well and added a timeless feel to the overall plot. 

True to Morton's writing style, this is a long read that goes into descriptive depth that for some readers, may detract from the plot development. There were instances in which a healthy dose of editing could have been used. However, it is a beautiful and moving story with some surprising twists that will keep fans of Morton engaged until the very end.

A gracious thank you to Simon & Schuster and Kate Morton for a reader's copy of this book.
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I very rarely read reviews before starting a new book, there is just too much of a chance for spoilers.  That being said, it wasn't hard to hear comments (via social media) about The Clockmaker's Daughter,  how it was garnering mixed reviews made me rather curious and a little nervous to begin reading.

There are multiple pov's here as The Clockmaker's Daughter travels across time to reveal what happened back in 1862 at Birchwood Manor.  You could almost say the Manor was one of the characters playing a pivotal part through the years.  There is a lot of years between 1862 and the present day, also many characters to remember. That I think is a Morton trademark because she can do it smoothly in a mesmerizing way. Her stories are multilayered and in this instance, it was the Manor revealing its history over the years.  The added unknown voice was interesting, spicing things up a little.

While this isn't one of my favorite Kate Morton books (that belongs to The Secret Keeper and The Forgotten Garden) I still enjoyed the ride.
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I was ecstatic when I learned that I could read an ARC of this.  I love this author.  I do wonder if my expectations were a bit high because I didn’t love this book.  I enjoyed it but it didn’t capture me like her older books did.
This story has multiple points of view and for the longest time I thought the ghost was a house.  I guess in some ways she is.  I found the change of point of view confusing at times and I don’t remember that from her other works.
Leonard’s story was long and boring.  80% of it could have been cut and not damaged the story.  In fact a lot could have been edited out, the story dragged in many places.
Although this took me longer to be enthralled than her previous writings, I did get ensnared in this story and wanted to find out what happened; to see the mystery solved.
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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book hovers between present day London and 19th Century England. The past and present are drawn together with the presence of the title character—the Clockmaker’s Daughter. 
The present day story involves Elodie, an archivist for the estate of James Stratton. She is the daughter of a world famous cellist who died when Elodie was a child. For Elodie’s father, though Lauren Adler remains the centre of his life, even in death. 
Elodie is in the midst of marriage preparations but seems to draw as much life from the past as she does from the present. 
As Elodie is cataloging items from the estate, she comes across a satchel that contains a photograph of a young woman and a sketchbook. In the sketchbook is a drawing of a house Elodie feels immediate connection with. It strikes her as being an illustration of a story handed down by her mother and great uncle—a very unique house that sets Elodie on a journey of discovery. 
This house is a place of mystery where the Clockmaker’s Daughter comes in. As a child, this nameless girl comes to live with some shady characters—The Captain, Mrs. Mack and Mrs. Mack’s son Martin—along with a pool of children that are trained in the fine art of deception and robbery. This girl is more elegant than the other children and eventually is given a different job, to swindle richer clients. In doing this, she takes the name Lily, a friend who was killed when they were both children. As Lily, she comes to know Edward Radcliffe, a London artist and becomes his model and muse. One summer, Edward invites all his friends and fellow artists to the house he has purchased and over that summer, a mystery entails that will take more than a century to unravel… 
The story unfolds in two parts—the past and the present—joined with the ongoing presence of ‘Lily’. It is well written and involves twists and turns, romance and intrigue, murder and robbery but above all, sharp story telling.
People value shiny stones and lucky charms, but they forget that the most powerful talismans of all are the stories that we tell to ourselves and to others. 
This is a well told story full of interesting characters. A very good read.
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I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.  The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton is possibly my favourite book that I have read this year... yes I read the entire book in less than 24 hours because I could not bear to put it down. It is a bit like a Russian Matroyshka doll with stories within stories. At the heart of the story is the clockmakers’s daughter Birdie Bell, the mystery surrounding her disappearance weaves its way through the interlocking stories over the course of 150 years. All the good stuff is here ... passion, loss, love in its many varied forms, mystery, murder, a missing jewel, art, beauty and evil. I highly recommend this book. Publishing Date October 9, 2018 #theclockmakersdaughter #NetGalley
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Kate Morton is an author whose books I will always automatically read. Her writing is magical, her descriptions capable of completely transporting you to another time in place. Her books evoke intense emotions and let you truly feel what the characters are going through. This book was no disappointment. The various points of view kept the story fresh and the mystery intense. The jumps in time weren't confusing and she kept me guessing the entire time about what would happen and what happened in the past. She is a masterful storyteller with a vivid imagination and I will continue to read any book she writes.
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I hate saying this, because I LOVE Kate Morton. She is one of my favourite authors. I haven’t read a book from her that I didn’t love. Until now.

The Clockmaker's Daughter is different from her previous novels, in that there are a ton of mini-plots running throughout. I could not get into the story. There were too many characters, in too many different eras, and we jump between them without notice (for the most part). One moment I was in 2018, then I was in 1862, then the 1920’s... then I was in 1940. Then the late 1800’s.
The time hopping through so many different characters made it impossible for me to really get invested in the story. The last 100 pages tied everything together, and were the most enjoyable of the book, but it wasn’t enough to make the previous 300+ pages worth it.
I was so sad closing this book, because I knew I had to review it. I’m honest to a fault, and while the writing was beautiful, as-per-usual, the plot and characters were too scattered for me to enjoy the book as a whole.
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It begins in England  mid 1800's and switches back and fore to present day.  Birdie, the clockmakers daughter looses her mother and her father decides to travel to America to make more money.  He leaves Birdie behind.  She is groomed by her caregiver to pickpocket on the streets of London.  
Edward Radcliffe, a young artist decided to invite a number of fellow artist friends to Birchwood Manor, an isolated manor  near a bend in the Thames.  He also invited some models, one of which he discovered quite unexpectedly, Birdie!   Edward anticipates a month of artistic exploration and delight.  Instead Edward Radcliffe life is devastated, there is a lady missing, one death and a very precious stone missing.
150 years later Elodie finds a sachel with a picture of a young couple sitting on a bench and a journal in which there is a story which reminds her of a tale her mother always told her as a child.  She is determined to discover more.
Kate Morton has an extraordinary ability to developer characters, which you will also discover in this book. read with care, it is sometimes hard to keep them all in sequence., but wonderful to devour!   Excellent read   I would give it 4.1/2 stars.
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