The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton #BookReview #HistoricalFiction #DualTimeline

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kate Morton has really outdone herself with this historical novel about a manor house and its residents spanning more than 100 years. There are multiple POV’s moving the story forward which is kind of the trend now for most authors and Kate Morton has taken it to a different level with the number of narrators in the story that one actually loses count.

Birchwood manor with its resident ghost, Birdie Bell evokes sympathy and the pain of her loneliness is heartbreaking to read. Summers in the manor house along the Thames River has been described beautifully and I think Kate Morton has been exceptional in making the house the central character and all the others playing second fiddle .

I wonder why most successful authors tend to write stories that go on and on, honestly I felt the pages could have been trimmed more to keep the reader hooked especially when most readers I am sure take frequent breaks in reading and this is one book that makes it difficult to pick up the thread easily coz there are many narrators and with a small break, we may have to go back a few pages to get an idea of the era and the narrator. It is for only that irritation that it is not a 5* read for me otherwise the lyrical prose by Kate Morton transports the reader completely into the wonderland she creates. Magical!

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?


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