The Clockmaker's Daughter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 Sep 2018

Member Reviews

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher for an honest review. I have read other Kate Morton's books previously and was looking forward to reading this story. The book was based around a house Birchwood Manor and the stories in hides. You soon realise part of the story is told by a ghost. There are many different stories told in this book and sometimes it got quite confusing. As there were so many characters within the book i didn't feel I learnt enough about them. It is a good story but because it was so long it was hard to connect all the characters together.  Unfortunately not one of Kate's best stories.
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This was the first Kate Morton book I had attempted to read but it wasn’t for me. I struggled to get into it and eventually gave up part way through.
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I really enjoyed the twisting mystery in this book and the way the story weaved between the present day and the past. 

Kate Morton's writing is beautiful and captivating, as always, and I can't believe how well she managed to include so many clues and keep track of all the characters.

The story is very long but well worth persevering with as the story unfolds so cleverly and is really intriguing with all of the loose ends wonderfully tied together in the end.
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Absolutely love Kate Morton’s books but have to admit I found this one a little tricky to follow. The central storyline around the house, and first introduced characters were great, but the side plots and time jumps left me feeling confused for a lot of the story. Will still read her next.
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I’m a huge fan of Morton and had high hopes for this book. Needless to say, The Clockmaker’s Daughter exceeded my expectations. Like her other novels, this one uses multiple timelines. This time the story focuses on Birchwood Manor and its inhabitants from 1862 to the present time. I love books with a non-linear structure and this is one of many things the author does so well. I was engrossed in the story from the start and loved every word. The Clockmaker’s Daughter explores a wide range of subjects from secrets to murder and one person knows all of the secrets of the manor and everyone who had lived and breathed inside the walls. Another strength of the author is being able to use multiple narrative viewpoints and this book deftly moved back and forth between different characters. I loved this book and can’t wait for her next.
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Kate Morton is a master of creating beautiful places. As much as many of the characters fell in love with Birchwood Manner, it was so easy to fall in love with it as the reader. I'm not a very visual reader, but even so, it's easy to imagine coming out of the trees and seeing the house appear, the many chimneys, the beautiful gardens with the roses and the Japanese maple, tended to nicely or not depending on the time period, and of course the light shining out from the attic window, welcoming you into the safety of the house. These images are so memorable and they feel so real.

I loved the characters, each different voice telling a different part of the story from a different time, part of the house's history and the secrets, both when they're happening an when they're being revealed. It was so fascinating to see each character finding out different secrets and keeping them hidden in various places for Elodie to have to piece together at the end.

My favourite voice was naturally Birdy's. She interwoven so deeply into the house and the story about it, existing timelessly, both outside of the narrative watching what happened and so deeply interwoven with every secret and every story. I think the way she talked about it all and the fairy story that made up the history of the house and how it was passed from person to person were my favourite parts of the novel.

This is the second book of Kate Morton's that I've read and I've been captured and transported by every word of each. They're more than a mystery story, they are a perfect escape from life and into a dark, twisting tale that will leave you guessing.
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I have always loved Kate Morton's book but The Clockmakers Daughter didn't quite hit the mark for me. I found it a bit confusing and there were too many voices invo,bed. I finished the novel nut found it a bit if a slog so much so that it took away from the story.
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When Elodie, an archivist,  discovers a satchel with a photograph and sketches by the artist Edward Radcliffe she is intrigued and compelled to find out their history and link........ especially as the sketches of the house are the exact same house of her imagination from childhood stories!   Back in the mid 1800s Edward and a group of his friends spent a month at Birchwood Manor, but tragedy struck and the full truth was never discovered,  but Birdie the clockmaker's daughter knew the truth.....but how can she tell her story

A great book by one of my favourite authors,  the mystery and intrigue is kept up throughout this very atmospheric book and I couldn't put it down until I had found out the whole story,  definitely recommended
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The Clockmaker’s Daughter is another winner for Kate Morton. I’m in awe of her storytelling ability: she expertly weaves together past and present, while holding the book’s secret right until the end.

Her latest novel contains all of the elements we’ve come to expect from her: different timelines; a grand, old house; and, of course, a mystery. Despite the tried-and-tested formula, something about this felt quite different from her other novels, and I think this was thanks to the clockmaker’s daughter herself.


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 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.

Birdie’s near omnipresent knowledge of the events of the novel stands in contrast to how little the other characters know about her. To us readers, she gradually reveals her story – and what a story it is. I don’t want to give away any of the plot, but I thought she was a fantastic character, and one of Morton’s best.

The main criticism of this novel I’ve seen is that there are too many characters to keep track of. My own opinion is divided on this. I didn’t find them confusing, but might have cut a few for the sake of pacing. On the other hand, multiple characters and their criss-crossing stories are a large part of what I love about her novels – they show the connections between people, places and objects that can often only be seen with hindsight.

Present-day character Elodie is an archivist, a job that lends itself perfectly to seeking out these connections. However, it’s really Birchwood Manor itself that holds the story together. As one line says: ‘Place is a doorway through which one steps across time.’ This is a theme that runs through all of Morton’s novels, but never more so than here.

As an aside, it’s great to see Mantle have given The Clockmaker’s Daughter a fresh look. The design is a bit more appealing and accessible than her previous covers, which will hopefully encourage even more readers to pick up a Kate Morton book.

This is another intriguing story from an accomplished writer, and I look forward (as ever) to seeing what she does next.
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This is about Birchwood Manor and all of the different people who have lived there from 1860's to present day. 
The story jumps back and forth, but I felt that the reader was always kept aware of what and whom you are reading about. 
I honestly don't know how to review this book as I just won't be giving it justice. 
I always love books by Kate Morton and I feel privileged to have been given an ARC by Netgalley of her latest book.
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The clockmakers daughter is another brilliant book by the wonderful Kate Morton. There isn’t one book I haven’t enjoyed and this no different. Set between two timelines you’ll be drawn in immediately. This is about love, mystery and a ghost. Come on! You must buy this immediately. I’ve bought 2 copies for Christmas gifts.
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I found it difficult to get into this book to start with. There were so many layers that it took a lot of attention keeping track.
The story focuses around a mysterious house and it's visitors. Namely artist Edward Radcliffe. The mystery is good and kept my attention. 
Kate Morton doesn't fail in her story telling and the book is an overall triumph.
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I admire Kate Morton's lyrical writing style and her attention to detail ... but there were so many characters, times, settings, voices, fragments of plot and a supernatural narrator that not only did it become difficult to follow the core story, but it also became increasingly challenging to commit to a particular character or, indeed, take an interest their fractured tale.

Some impressive planning went into this, but it also frustrated me that so many snippets of information felt like a rework of something else, including characters and moment from the life of John Keats on particular (doesn't feel a huge leap from Fanny Brawne to Fanny Brown ...)

All in all, a combination of magically impressive organisation to keep the story moving, but disappointing in its slow execution.
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A clever book, intertwining stories, going between the past and the present, skilfully connecting it all at the end. This book made me feel quite's so sad, beautiful, wild and free, and ultimately heartbreaking. Beautiful.
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This is an intriguing novel set across a number of points in history.  You may have to review the characters if you put it down for too long as there are many of them.......easier if reading in paper rather then e format!!  I do still like flicking back in a book.  However, the trail of loves and losses connected to one mysterious house is gripping and fascinating.  The occupants change but there is always a connection that only the reader witnesses and Kate Moreton keeps the connections mysterious.  It is a quite long novel and the number of scenarios require concentration.  Some characters are more believable than others, but the ending is worth it.
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Kate Morton is an auto-buy author for me so I was thrilled to receive a proof copy of her latest book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. A Kate Morton novel is always incredibly atmospheric with lyrical writing that sweeps the reader away. The Clockmaker’s Daughter is no exception, with the engagingly evocative language drawing the reader further into the mystery behind Birchwood Manor and its enigmatic narrator. As I’ve come to expect from this author, the richly drawn characters are at the heart of the story.

The chapters alternate between modern-day characters, an unknown narrator at Birchwood Manor, and a series of characters from 1862 to 1940. The characters are further connected via chance meetings and familial ties allowing the author to draw all the narrative threads into a cohesive whole. My favourite character was the narrator known as Birdie, who now stands outside time, watching these events unfold. She was a complex and enchanting character, and the central mystery of who she is drives the story forward. Each point of view is seemingly connected to Birchwood Manor, emphasising the relationship between people and place. The house is a beacon to people who have experienced loss in some way, often proving to be a place of gradual healing or acceptance.

There are numerous themes interwoven through the narrative, with love and loss driving a lot of the action. One of the most interesting mysteries is what happened in the summer of 1862. As tensions, jealousies, longing and resentment build amongst a group of artists spending the summer at Birchwood Manor, a devastating event echoes across time, with secrets being harboured for decades and the answers held by the Manor itself. I was still thinking about this book and its characters for days after finishing which is always a sign of an absorbing story. Overall, this was another phenomenal book from Kate Morton.
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Another amazing book by Kate Morton,
I could not stop reading this book! It kept me up late at night and the ending was tragically sad.

Shrouded in mystery, with a resident ghost, a young archivist and a man in search of lost treasure, The Clockmaker's Daughter is a book that slips back and forth through 150 years seamlessly, 
I found myself getting stuck into each time as if they were two separate novels and had no trouble following the storyline. Multiple voices across the timeline were easy to relate to and told each story eloquently.
I did not except the tragic ending- yet it really could not have been any other way.
A definite must read!!
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Finding a new Author is always exciting and this discovery was even more so!!!

This wonderful mesmerising story about Birchwood Manor and all its inhabitants from 1862 to the present time.

It shifts between timelines and at first I was confused then suddenly it all clicked into place and I was spell bound from that moment on. 

This story has it all, secrets, romance, murder, there is one special person who sees it all and knows all the secrets off the manor over the years, and slowly we start to discover what they are, through the numerous timelines.

I cannot do this book justice, it was so beautifully written, very descriptive with colourful characters that draw you in, with little clues along the way that keep you guessing as to what really happened at Birchwood Manor.

I definitely will be reading more of Kate Morton’s books. I have officially become a fan!!!

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review
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Elodie, is getting married soon, but she doesn't seem all that interested. She's a likeable character with a strong sense of her own independence and a love of researching the past, which is part of her job. Although her part in the story is set in modern day, she has the feel of a Victorian character out of place.

I really enjoyed reading this at first as the writing is very good and I could identify with Elodie in many ways, but as the chapters went on I felt it became very slow. There are interesting time jumps, but they aren't done as smoothly as they might have and the connection between Elodie and Ada had a lot of potential, but again, things just took forever to progress.

I think this story could have been shorter and tightened up. Some brilliant creative ideas were in there that deserved to hold my interest more than they did.
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On the surface, this novel is quite similar to Morton's previous works, all of which I've enjoyed. This one is slightly different in terms of the perspectives, though. I found the time shifts a bit more disorienting than usual and some characters didn't quite come alive for me.

I still enjoyed it but didn't find it quite as engaging as I expected; if you are new to Morton I would recommend starting with one of her older novels.
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