From the bestselling author of The House at Riverton and The Secret Keeper, Kate Morton brings her trademark mix of secrets, lies, and intricately layered mysteries in The Clockmaker's Daughter.
'The perfect book to curl up with' - i newspaper
My real name, no one remembers.
The truth about that summer, no one else knows.
In the depths of a nineteenth-century winter, a little girl is abandoned in the narrow streets of London. Adopted by a mysterious stranger, she becomes in turn a thief, a friend, a muse, and a lover. Then, in the summer of 1862, shortly after her eighteenth birthday, she retreats with a group of artists to a beautiful house on a quiet bend of the Upper Thames . . . Tensions simmer and one hot afternoon a gun-shot rings out. A woman is killed, another disappears, and the truth of what happened slips through the cracks of time.
Over the next century and beyond, Birchwood Manor welcomes many newcomers but guards its secret closely – until another young woman is drawn to visit the house because of a family secret of her own . . .
As the mystery of The Clockmaker’s Daughter begins to unravel, we discover the stories of those who have passed through Birchwood Manor since that fateful day in 1862. Intricately layered and richly atmospheric, it shows that, sometimes, the only way forward is through the past.
'An ambitious, complex, compelling historical mystery with a fabulous cast of characters. This is Kate Morton at her very best' - Kristin Hannah, author of The Nightingale
Morton (The Lake House) explores the tangled history of people and place in her outstanding, bittersweet sixth novel. In contemporary London, Elodie, a young archivist, encounters among her employer's collection a satchel, a photographic portrait, and a sketch of a country house. The sketch, in particular, arouses Elodie's professional curiosity and her memories, since it bears close resemblance to a house figuring heavily in the magical stories her late mother once told her. The trail of Elodie's research spurred by her discovery that the sketch depicts an actual place is woven together with tales of the house's various denizens between 1862 and the present, as well as with the voice of a spirit who haunts its walls. This specter who remains nameless for most of the novel is the clock maker's daughter of the title, abandoned as a young girl, trained as a pickpocket, and eventually chosen as an artist's muse, but possessing an artist's eye of her own. The novel's central mystery focuses on the circumstances of her abrupt disappearance in the 19th century, entangled with the abduction of a priceless jewel, the murder of the artist's fianc e, and the artist's personal and professional collapse. At the novel's emotional core, however, is the intersection of lives across decades, united, as the ethereal narrator suggests, by a shared experience of "loss that ties them together." In addition to love not only romantic love but also love between parents and siblings and loss, the stories, brilliantly told by Morton, offer musings on art, betrayal, and the ways in which real lives and real places can evolve over time into the stuff of legends.