The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

The earth was the ultimate museum, recording and presenting a narrative of time… – Kate Morton, The Clockmaker’s Daughter

From the moment this book was opened until the last page was turned, one thought kept going through my mind: Such. A. Brilliant. Book. Every time I had to stop and put the book down for my normal life routines, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was almost haunting me. Sometimes when I thought about what I read in the pages, I would have goosebumps.

I must say this though: The Clockmaker’s Daughter is not an easy read for sure. If you’re looking for a commercial fiction that is fast-paced and light, one that you may be able to finish reading at one go, this may not be for you.

However, I am not saying that it is not a page-turner. Far from it! I couldn’t get through the book fast enough because the story was absolutely compelling and the characters were extremely absorbing. Kate Morton is such a brilliant storyteller, and she weaves it all together with beautiful writing.

The synopsis from the book:

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?


When I just started reading the book, I would constantly lament at how far I was from the end. Not because reading it was such a dread, but because it meant I still had such a long way to go before I could finally know what truly happened!

There are a lot of different voices telling the story, with one main voice through it all. This book has to be read and enjoyed at a leisurely pace, or you might miss something important. I got so excited every time I traced a connection, and when I finally finished the book, the ultimate revelation left me with such a heartache! It was that impactful!

I also loved that not everything was spelt out and not every dot was connected. I guess those are the little open-ended lines left for the reader to ponder upon.

I don’t know if this book could be called a literary fiction, but it definitely delighted me in the same way Kazuo Ishiguro’s books delighted me. Every sentence was artfully strung together, the story revealed itself at a steady pace, and the characters unveiled at such a subtle way.

Many of her fans said some of her earlier books were even better, so I am looking forward to picking up The Lake House and some of the others!

Have you read any of her books before? Did you like them? Any favourites?




One Reply to “The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton”

  1. […] had already written a review for this book before, so I won’t be saying much here. Suffice to say though that I loved […]

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