INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“An ambitious, compelling historical mystery with a fabulous cast of characters…Kate Morton at her very best.” —Kristin Hannah
“An elaborate tapestry…Morton doesn’t disappoint.” —The Washington Post
"Classic English country-house Goth at its finest." —New York Post
In the depths of a 19th-century winter, a little girl is abandoned on the streets of Victorian London. She grows up to become in turn a thief, an artist’s muse, and a lover. In the summer of 1862, shortly after her eighteenth birthday, she travels with a group of artists to a beautiful house on a bend of the Upper Thames. Tensions simmer and one hot afternoon a gunshot rings out. A woman is killed, another disappears, and the truth of what happened slips through the cracks of time. It is not until over a century later, when another young woman is drawn to Birchwood Manor, that its secrets are finally revealed.
Told by multiple voices across time, this is an intricately layered, richly atmospheric novel about art and passion, forgiveness and loss, that shows us that sometimes the way forward is through the past.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In Kate Morton’s time-jumping ghost story, the mysterious death of a beautiful young woman in the 1860s reverberates into the 21st century. Shifting seamlessly between a group of young bohemian artists during Victorian times and a present-day London archivist determined to unravel their fate, the author of The Lake House creates a moving story of ambition and loss. Morton makes multiple nods to Dickens throughout The Clockmaker’s Daughter, and her zippy plot machinations and colorful side characters would make her inspiration proud.
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Clockmaker’s Daughter
A fascinating read with a very unsatisfactory ending. Too many loose ends and unanswered questions. I read the last page, expecting a conclusion in the next chapter but there wasn’t a next chapter. It’s like the author couldn’t think of a way to end the story.
Couldn’t finish this
I have read several other books by Kate Morton and enjoyed them all. I couldn’t get past the first 100 pages on this one before I had to quit. Too confusing. Couldn’t remember all the names. Just couldn’t do it.
The Clockmaker's Daughter
I so enjoy all of Kate's books - the mystery, the going back and forth in time keep the story interesting. We just moved to a new house (named Thornbury Manor) and it made me ponder the people who lived here before me - even before this house was built. I am looking forward to her next novel.