The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter

A Novel

eBook - 2018
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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"An ambitious, compelling historical mystery with a fabulous cast of characters...Kate Morton at her very best." —Kristin Hannah
"An elaborate tapestry...Morton doesn't disappoint." The Washington Post

"Classic English country-house Goth at its finest." New York Post
In the depths of a 19th-century winter, a little girl is abandoned on the streets of Victorian London. She grows up to become in turn a thief, an artist's muse, and a lover. In the summer of 1862, shortly after her eighteenth birthday, she travels with a group of artists to a beautiful house on a bend of the Upper Thames. Tensions simmer and one hot afternoon a gunshot rings out. A woman is killed, another disappears, and the truth of what happened slips through the cracks of time. It is not until over a century later, when another young woman is drawn to Birchwood Manor, that its secrets are finally revealed.

Told by multiple voices across time, this is an intricately layered, richly atmospheric novel about art and passion, forgiveness and loss, that shows us that sometimes the way forward is through the past.

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t
Trixie_reads
Feb 22, 2021

I would have abandoned this book about 100 pages in, except that I was reading it for a book club. I just couldn't force myself to read it, so I got the audiobook. Then I ended up thoroughly enjoying it! It is a long, complex, interwoven story, and sometimes it was hard to keep the people straight. I still had the physical book, and kept paging back to check things. I'm giving it to my 90-year-old dad and then my 23-year-old daughter, and I'm quite curious to see what they think of it. This was on a list of adult books appealing to teens, but I'm not sure many teens would forge on long enough to finish it.

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VIVI_10_0
Jan 22, 2021

I just want to take out a book. It seemed to route me all over the place!

b
brennapladsen
Sep 11, 2020

Lovely characters and settings, but there was so much to do and resolve it felt a bit shallow and the gentle skid to resolution was disappointing.

b
bookpusher
Aug 04, 2020

A little confusing with so many characters and eras, but I really liked it overall.

s
samsue
May 06, 2020

Exhausting to read with swift back & forth in time episodes that left me baffled. Gave up 1/3 of the way thru

a
amm3607
Apr 27, 2020

Loved this story! My favorite book I read this year. Intertwining stories and history made it interesting the whole way through.

I agree with previous comments that it was difficult to follow who the characters were, what time period they were in and how the story all tied together. The second half of the book is better, although I was disappointed with the ending and was still trying to sort out “what actually happened”.

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finn75
Feb 07, 2020

I do enjoy Kate Morton's books. She spins stories from by gone eras that entertwine with the present day. This ghost story of a hot summer in the mid nineteenth century that goes badly wrong does jump around a bit before coming to its conclusion. An enjoyable read but perhaps the many characters and tangents did distract more than enhance the story.

l
libraryvol
Jan 16, 2020

A ghost story without the scary components. I love the way the author weaves together the full story through snippets of different eras and people.

CCPL_Laura Jan 11, 2020

I always enjoy Morton's novels, and this ambitious one was no exception! Birchwood Manor links all of the narrative threads together, a touchstone within this gorgeous novel that feels like coming home. From Elodie’s inquisitive nature to Edward’s creative passion, from Ada’s determination to Tip’s enchanting view of the world, Birchwood Manor will reel in the reader through it’s one connecting narrative voice: Birdie, a girl lost in time and history, who was there for all that happened that fateful summer. The Clockmaker's Daughter is a quietly vibrant novel about love, murder, mystery, loss, art, and the constant flowing river of time. Fans of Susanna Kearsley and Morton's earlier work will not be disappointed.

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Quotes

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c
cknightkc
Oct 01, 2019

“Human beings are curators. Each polishes his or her own favored memories, arranging them in order to create a narrative that pleases. Some events are repaired and polished for display; others are deemed unworthy and cast aside, shelved below ground in the overflowing storeroom of the mind. There, with any luck, they are promptly forgotten. The process is not dishonest: it is the only way that people can live with themselves and the weight of their experiences.” - p.60

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cknightkc
Oct 01, 2019

“Because before Mrs. Mack and the Captain there was my father, always looking for his second chance He was a clockmaker by trade, a master craftsman… ‘Each clock is unique,’ he used to tell me. ‘And just like a person, its face, whether plain or pretty, is but a mask for the intricate mechanism it conceals.” - p.64

c
cknightkc
Oct 01, 2019

‘On Radcliffe’s headstone, in smaller text beneath his name, was written, Here lithe one who sought truth and light and saw beauty in all things, 1842-1882. Leonard found himself staring as he often did at the dash between the dates. Within that lichen-laced mark there lay the entire life of a man: his childhood, his loves, his losses and fears, all reduced to a single chiseled line on a piece of stone in a quiet churchyard at the end of a country lane. “ - p. 230

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cknightkc
Oct 01, 2019

“If you are to understand my brother…you must stop seeing him as a painter and start seeing him instead as a storyteller. It was his greatest gift. He knew how to communicate, how to make people feel and see and believe. The medium in which he chose to express himself was irrelevant. It is no easy feat to invent a whole world, but Edward could do that. A setting, a narrative, characters who live and breathe—he was able to make the story come to life in someone else’s mind. Have you ever considered the logistics of that…? 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.”

“What she said was true. As an artist, Edward Radcliffe could transport people, so that they were no longer simply spectators of his work but participants, coconspirators in the realization of the world that he sought to create.” - pp. 239-40

c
cknightkc
Oct 01, 2019

“Time only moved in one direction. And it didn’t stop. It never stopped moving, not even to let a person think. The only way back was in one’s memories.” - p. 315

c
cknightkc
Oct 01, 2019

“Being a parent’s a breeze… No more difficult than flying a plane with a blindfold on and holes in your wings.” - p. 319

c
cknightkc
Oct 01, 2019

“… Juliet wandered the perimeter observing the mottled headstones and contemplating the names and dates, the loving messages of eternity and rest. How remarkable that the human race valued the lives of its individual members sufficiently to commemorate each ones’s brief time on the ancient earth; and yet, at once, could engage in slaughter of the most meaningless and general kind.” - p. 327

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cknightkc
Oct 01, 2019

“Past, present, future—what did any of it mean, anyway? One could aim to do their best with the circumstances dealt them in the time given. That was all.” - p. 327

c
cknightkc
Oct 01, 2019

“I wonder what Felix, with his lapel button of Abraham Lincoln and his wild predictions for the future, would make of all this. It is just as he said: the camera is ubiquitous. They all carry one now. Even as I watch, they traipse through the rooms of the house, pointing their devices at this chair or those tiles. Experiencing the world at one remove, through the windows of their phones, making images for later so that they do not need to bother seeing or feeling things now.” - p. 338

c
cknightkc
Oct 01, 2019

“People value shiny stones and lucky charms, but they forget that the most powerful talismans of all are the stories that we tell to ourselves and to others.” - p. 481

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