“As he looked at her, and she looked at the house, something in the way the leaves of the maple caught the sun and illuminated the woman beneath it made his heart ache and expand and he realized that he wanted to tell her, too, that by some strange twist it was the very meaninglessness of life that made it all so beautiful and rare and wonderful. That for all its savagery–because of its savagery–war had brightened every color. That without the darkness one would never notice the stars.” Kate Morton, THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER
In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor in rural Berkshire. 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 a 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…
A ‘book hangover’ is a condition resulting in an inability to begin a new book because one is so absorbed by the last. THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER has given me a terrible case, and I don’t see an end in sight.
Kate Morton is the master of the multi-period mystery. Every time I pick up one of her novels, I’m eager to see if she’ll be able to weave her magic, and every time she succeeds. Morton knows her characters so intimately, the reader is safe in her capable hands to explore the mazes of time and place without getting lost. It is her deep empathy for the human condition that allows her to create such full, memorable worlds.
In THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER, each time I thought I found my favorite storyline, the next section would come and I’d think I’d again found it. Over and over this went, until the sad moment when I reached the last page. I did not want the book to end, and that is saying a lot for a nearly five-hundred page novel.
From fans of historical fiction to multi-period drama to mystery, Kate Morton’s novels are for book lovers of all genres. I caution you, however: THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER is so absorbing, you’ll get very little done once you start. Even with that word of warning and in spite of the fact that it will leave you with a book hangover, I give THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER my highest recommendation.