Thursday, October 4, 2018

Review: The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

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 shadow across generations, set in England from the 1860's 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.

Softcover, 496 pages
Expected publication: October 9th, 2018
 by Atria Books
*** 1/2

I very rarely read reviews before starting a new book, there is just too much of a chance for spoilers.  That being said, it wasn't hard to hear comments (via social media) about The Clockmaker's Daughter,  how it was garnering mixed reviews made me rather curious and a little nervous to begin reading.

I will confess right off the bat that I struggled to get into this book, but it was an 'it's me not you' situation.  My anticipation just got the better of me, times were hectic and yea to sit and read caused issues - nothing to do with the book. So I did the thing I've been doing a lot of the past few months and that is switching to the audio version for a bit.  Yea it came out on Audible before the print copy.  Did the audio cure my struggles? You bet it did!!  This is Kate Morton, one of my go-to authors, read without checking out the blurb. Joanne Froggatt was the reader and she did a great job of bringing this book to life.  I did switch back to the print copy for the last third.

There are multiple pov's here as The Clockmaker's Daughter travels across time to reveal what happened back in 1862 at Birchwood Manor.  You could almost say the Manor was one of the characters playing a pivotal part through the years.  There is a lot of years between 1862 and the present day, also many characters to remember. That I think is a Morton trademark because she can do it smoothly in a mesmerizing way. Her stories are multilayered and in this instance, it was the Manor revealing its history over the years.  The added unknown voice was interesting, spicing things up a little.

While this isn't one of my favorite Kate Morton books (that belongs to The Secret Keeper and The Forgotten Garden) I still enjoyed the ride. 

ARC won from the publisher.