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The Clockmaker's Daughter: A Novel by Kate…
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The Clockmaker's Daughter: A Novel (edition 2018)

by Kate Morton (Author)

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2,0011057,027 (3.67)87
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 in rural Oxfordshire. 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 150 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.… (more)
Member:yramberg
Title:The Clockmaker's Daughter: A Novel
Authors:Kate Morton (Author)
Info:Atria Books (2018), Edition: Reprint, 492 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

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English (99)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (1)  All languages (103)
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Filled with colorful characters, lush descriptions, and period details, Kate Morton’s The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a slowly developing mystery that flows backwards and forwards through one hundred fifty years in time. In 2017, a London archivist discovers a sketch book belonging to one of the Magenta Brotherhood of artists and a beguiling photo of a young woman from the 19th century. The archivist’s research leads her to Birchwood Manor, a country estate on the bank of the Thames in Oxfordshire. The manor hosts the ghost of Birdie, one of the narrators, who has seen the various residents of the home, starting with a group of bohemian artists that intend to spend the summer of 1862 communing and creating art. During the summer, an apparent theft goes horribly wrong, leaving one woman dead and another missing.

Birchwood Manor serves as the constant that links the multiple storylines together, as the narrative introduces the lives of the residents who have occupied the home at various times. These stories are woven together in an appealing manner and contain many points of connection over the generations.

One of the primary themes is the way the present and the past are linked together. It is lyrically written and leisurely paced. The downsides include a few plot holes and portions of the story being repeated. It would make sense to repeat segments if the tellers’ perspectives were unique, but unfortunately, they were retold multiple times the same way.

I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Joanne Froggatt. She does an excellent job with various accents (English dialects, Australian, American, Scottish) and both male and female voices of young and older characters. She reads beautifully. It kept me entertained during seventeen hours of driving time on a recent trip. Recommended to readers of sweeping sagas involving slowly developing mysteries.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
In present day London, Elodie Winslow discovers a satchel containing an old photograph of an unknown woman, as well as a sketchbook with a drawing of a house near a river. Though she has no known knowledge of either, these items seem to call to her, and soon she is wrapped up in the mystery of their past.

It seems that I've been reading a fair amount of books with unlikeable characters lately, and I felt it was time to turn to one of my favorite authors. Kate Morton never fails to pull me in with her beautiful writing and her wonderful storytelling ability. I'd been saving this, her most recent book, to relish at a time when I felt appropriate. And here we are.

So having said that, I feel bad in saying that this is perhaps my least favorite of hers. Not that it's bad, because it's not. They never are. But I did find that the timeline in this one was a bit confusing, though that may have been somewhat due to my reading this on audio. I've done most of Morton's books on audio, and I believe they've all been read by Caroline Lee, who does an exceptional job. This one, however, was read by Joanne Froggatt (of Downton Abbey fame), who also did a great job. The Clockmaker's Daughter has all of Morton's trademarks: a back-and-forth timeline, a bit of mystery, an old house, etc., as well as a gradual unfolding of a good storyline. There was just something about this one that didn't capture me quite as much as some of the others. But would I recommend it? Absolutely. I will read anything Kate Morton writes. ( )
  indygo88 | Oct 16, 2022 |
I was his muse, his destiny. And he was mine.
It was long ago; it was yesterday.
Oh, I remember love.


In the Summer of 1862, a group of artists gather at a house owned by artist, Edward Radcliffe. Before the summer is over, Radcliffe’s fiancee has been shot and his model and a priceless diamond have disappeared. Sounds like a fairly simple enough mystery, but in the hands of Kate Morton, it becomes a complex story that spans 150 years and touches a number of lives, including many who were not even alive when the summer frolic begins.

Setting is so key in this Morton tale, for the house in which the artists gather is, itself, a major character in the story. The house breathes, lives, and calls to a select group of people over the centuries, and it is the house at Birchwood Manor that ties so many of them together.

I love the way Morton weaves a story and draws it out, moving from character to character in what might seem, but never is, a random manner. I become involved in each of her characters, anxious to see how they all tie together in the end and enjoy the process of unraveling and solving the mystery that always lies at the heart of her tales. I love the way she makes time seem so fluid.

There was no such thing as the right time, he explained. Time was an idea: it had no end and no beginning; it could not be seen or heard or smelled. It could be measured, sure enough, but no words had been found to explain precisely what it was. As to the “right” time, it was simply a matter of agreeing to agree.

There are a few authors that I read purely for pleasure, purely for the thrill of the journey, simply to step outside my everyday world and spend a few hours in theirs. Kate Morton is one of those writers. I am never disappointed, the journey is always one that I hate to see end. She knows how to spin a tale, and in her own words, transfer an idea:

If you are to understand my brother, Mr. Gilbert, you must stop seeing him as a painter and start seeing him as a storyteller. It was his greatest gift. He knew how to communicate, how to make people feel and see and believe. … Have you ever considered the logistics of that, Mr. Gilbert? The transfer of an idea?And, of course, a story is not a single idea; it is thousands of ideas, all working together in concert.
( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
Now a bookclub book for October 2020.

(Not a bookclub book at the time I read it. It was given to me by a friend, Claudia, something to read during the pandemic of covid19! ()
Now a bookclub book for October 2020!) Jenny, Trish, and Christy going in together and meeting at The Gathering Place in Tulsa since COVID. We can wear masks, be outside and distance apart. ( )
  PatLibrary123 | Aug 9, 2022 |
Awesome book! So far my favorite Kate Morton book! ♥ ( )
  MaraBlaise | Jul 23, 2022 |
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Kate Mortonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Froggatt, JoanneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Für Didee, weil sie eine von den Müttern ist, die uns ein Leben auf dem Gipfel des Berges hat führen lassen, und weil sie mir den besten Rat für das Schreeben gegeben hat, den ich je bekommen habe.

To Didee, for being the sort of mother who took us to live on a mountaintop and for giving me the best piece of writing advice I've ever received.
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Wir waren auch Birchwood Manor gekommen, weil Edward gesagt hast, dort spuke es.

We came to Birchwood Manor because Edward said that it was haunted.
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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 in rural Oxfordshire. 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 150 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.

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