INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“An ambitious, compelling historical mystery with a fabulous cast of characters…Kate Morton at her very best.” —Kristin Hannah
A love affair and a mysterious murder cast their shadows across generations in this multilayered and spellbinding novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the “deliciously compelling” (Liane Moriarty) The Lake House.
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.
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.