Title: The Clockmaker’s Daughter
Author: Kate Morton
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Page Count: 496
My rating: 2 stars
About the book:
A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House–the story of a love affair and a mysterious murder that cast their shadows across generations, set in England from the 1860s until the present day.
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.
When it comes to an author like Kate Morton readers should be well aware that they will find great writing when picking up a new book and that was still the case with The Clockmaker’s Daughter. However, even with lovely writing sometimes things just don’t work for some readers and that would be my dilemma with this one.
The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a historical fiction read told from multiple points of view over the course of decades. In the present Elodie Winslow is going through an old satchel when she comes across a few items that draw her interest. Readers are then taken back to the mid 1800s to the Birchwood Manor and the mystery that surrounds it.
Now, normally I am one that can love a story with multiple characters and multiple timelines however it all depends on the way things are done. With this story the author has taken multiple to a whole new level in the fact I found it hard to keep track of so many characters coming into the story. Sometimes I would get the feeling I may need to take notes and then reading feels more like homework than relaxation.
With so much going on I had a hard time connecting to the characters and story with struggling to keep up too. Quite often I wouldn’t know who I was following and for me I prefer a clearer style to follow. In the end I’d say this one just wasn’t my cup of tea but I’m sure some readers will love it.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Kate Morton is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours, The Secret Keeper, The Lake House, and The Clockmaker’s Daughter. Her books are published in 34 languages and have been #1 bestsellers worldwide. She is a native Australian, holds degrees in dramatic art and English literature. She lives with her family in London and Australia.