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.
Kate Morton has a real gift for the written word and is well known for her ability to weave rich tapestries from the lives of her characters and bring them to life on the page. Her latest novel, the Clockmaker’s Daughter does not disappoint and is full of the lush, descriptive prose that we have come to expect from her.
Early on we meet Elodie Winslow, working as an archivist in London. While cataloguing some antiquities, she comes across a couple of items that she has an almost magnetic attraction to – she doesn’t know why, but she feels that she knows the person, and the place depicted- but how is that possible? Unable to let this feeling go, Elodie sets off to find out the story behind these images, and her journey takes her to the sprawling Birchwood Manor estate, near the banks of the Thames. Slipping through time to the mid-19th century, we meet artist Edward Radcliffe, the owner of the manor, and his group of bohemian friends, and we begin to unravel the mystery behind a murder that took place in the house. We also find out more about Elodie as we go, as does she, and the journey becomes a much more personal one than she could ever have imagined.
There were a lot of characters in this novel, spread over several different time periods, which sometime made it hard to keep up – I had to refer back to a previous mention of a name a few times, but the story takes place over a century and a half so there are bound to be lots of key players.
The story was intriguing and held my interest – there was one part which took place in a rowboat, where I realised I was actually holding my breath I was that engrossed in what was going to happen next. I was taken by surprise by the ending to one particular character’s story, and when the story finished I realised there were a few decisions left for one of the characters – although an ending was hinted at, I guess it’s for the reader to decide what happened next. It’s a book of twists and turns – not everything is as it seems, and although I feel there are too many characters to fully invest in them all, the standout ones are beautifully written.
Thank you to the Pigeonhole for letting me read an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.