Kate Morton comes to the blog today with her new book, a mix of historic fiction and family saga. Please read on for my review of
The Clockmaker’s Daughter
Initially intrigued with the premise of a long-ago tragedy reaching forward to impact the present, particularly as the tragedy was from the Victorian era, I dove into the book hoping for a story that transported while showing the interconnection and impact of the initial event over the years. And while individual points of view are both beautifully written and hold description and emotion that lead readers to want more – the book failed to captivate me, and I was left often wondering about characters who shared information and seemed to be ‘important’ who just went poof. When you add this lack of threads and a twisty-turny meandering path to any sort of answers, and then make the choice to not clearly define narrative points of view, the story gets lost in the ‘who was that and why are they speaking’ questions that arose. And many of those moments arose, as Morton chose to use multiple (I lost count) narrative voices – some sharing information, others simple impressions and others still whose point I have yet to discern.
I wanted a touch of a gothic feel, a bit of ‘oh so that’s why X did that” that would, if not instantly then eventually give me a sense of how a murder and a house could effect the lives (not necessarily for the better) some 250 years later. And sadly, I didn’t’ get that – and found myself hard-pressed to muddle through proclamations and moments from characters that were ill-defined and often felt randomly placed as I tried to work out the one thread and touchstone for the story. It never came. I’m sure that fans of Morton’s writing will love this – but as a first introduction to her work I found it didn’t hold my interest or my attention past an hour at a shot. While the writing is lovely – and her prose is exceptional – it was the plotting choices and characters that never quite developed into anything beyond nebulous that has me disinclined to read her books again.
Title: The Clockmaker's Daughter
Author: Kate Morton
Genre: Family Saga, Historical Fiction, Mystery Elements, Setting: Britain, Victorian
Published by: Atria Books
Published on: 9 October, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 17 Hours: 3 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible
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.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: