I can’t remember how long it is since I have delved into a Kate Morton book. All I can say is that it is too long.
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.
One of the things that I love about Morton’s writing is how evocative the settings are. I recall being drawn to her first books as they brought the English countryside to life.
There are many storylines in this book but at the heart of it is ‘Birdie’ – the clockmaker’s daughter.
Many decades are covered within the book. Many issues are dealt with as well. As a result it did take me a while to get into it. However, I reached a point where all of the story threads came together and I realised what a marvel of a book this is. A beautiful, captivating, moving story.