Book Review: The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

November 2, 2018 Book review 9 ★★★★★

I’ve swooned over all but one of Kate Morton’s books.  So a release of a brand new one, which happily coincided with my holiday, made for an exciting event in my reading life.

Book Review: The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate MortonThe Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton
Published by Atria Books on October 9, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 485
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

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.

BOOKLOVE CREATIVE Historical Must-Read ReReadable

First Line of The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

“We came to Birchwood Manor because Edward said it was haunted.”

My Thoughts on The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

Kate Morton has changed her style and taken some risks with this book. It’s a lot more whimsical than previous titles, but I don’t like when authors churn out similar type books. So this change excited and intrigued me.

What hasn’t changed though is:

– mysterious flashback and flash forward scenes
– vibrant characters who reach up from the pages and hug you in to their lives
– gorgeous thoughtful perfectly phrased writing to ponder over
– evidence of meticulous research that shines a light of authenticity on the plot
– a book that lured me in from beginning to end

With a theme of belonging and how wrongs from previous generations can linger in till they get resolved, it was a book that made me speculate happily for hours.

I think she can do no wrong. Well ok I didn’t like The Distant Hours but that was the exception that proved the rule for me.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: five-stars


Who Should Read The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton?

Highly recommend to those who like historical English settings, family secrets and memorable characters.  Fans of authors such as Monica McInerney, Maeve Binchy and Diane Chamberlain should also enjoy.

Talk to Trish: Are you a fan of Kate?  Do you like when a favourite author changes up her writing style?


About Kate Morton

KATE MORTON was born in South Australia, grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland and now lives with her family in London and Australia. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, and harboured dreams of joining the Royal Shakespeare Company until she realised that it was words she loved more than performing. Kate still feels a pang of longing each time she goes to the theatre and the house lights dim.

"I fell deeply in love with books as a child and believe that reading is freedom; that to read is to live a thousand lives in one; that fiction is a magical conversation between two people - you and me - in which our minds meet across time and space. I love books that conjure a world around me, bringing their characters and settings to life, so that the real world disappears and all that matters, from beginning to end, is turning one more page."



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9 Responses to “Book Review: The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton”

  1. Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog

    I somehow still haven’t read Kate Morton book. I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews on this one so I don’t think I’ll start with it but happy to see you really enjoyed it. Great review!

    • trish

      I’d suggest starting with The Forgotten Garden. But if you like historical fiction, English country settings and family secrets, then you’d enjoy any of her books Grace.

  2. Angela

    I’m so glad to hear you loved this one! It seemed like it was getting a lot of negative reviews. I really enjoyed it, it was a bit of a departure for her but she can do no wrong in my eyes!

    And The Distant Hours is actually my favorite of hers!

    • trish

      LOL re The Distant Hours! I think I thought it was too long and too convoluted. I’m delighted you loved this one as much as I did.

  3. Ken

    Hi Trish, lovely blog! I seriously loved it after reading your review. Now it has come in my favourite list. Thanks and keep sharing!

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