#bookreview The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton published by Pan Macmillan @MantleBooks

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.

My reading experience:

Firstly I would like to thank Netgalley and the publishers for my free ARC.

Plunged into the archivists world of intrigue and treasure hunting, our modern protagonist Eloise winds us through a set of clues that she is drawn to in an extraordinary way. The reader is navigated through this tale of one summer in 1862, and it is pleasingly meandering – an archivist’s treasure map.

I found the modern connection to the events of 1862 fascinating, captivating. I was drawn in by the artists and their connection to one another. There are beautiful passages on nostalgia, on time and on memories.

The word [nostalgia] was terribly maligned. People used it as a stand in for sentimentality, when it wasn’t that at all. Sentimentality was mawkish and cloying, where nostalgia was acute and aching. It described yearning of the most profound kind: an awareness that time’s passage could not be stopped … “.

I found the intriguing ghostly voice of our narrator Birdie Bell the Clockmaker’s daughter, to be sad, longing. The different perspectives between voices leads us through many avenues to the heart of the mystery.

I thoroughly enjoyed a story filled with depth and colour, the beautiful prose making it hard to put this book down.

Thank you to the author Kate Morton and I look forward to more new stories in the future.


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