The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton
During the summer of 1862 at the country estate of Birchwood Manor artists of the Magenta Brotherhood gathered to create famous works of art. However tragedy strikes. A woman is murdered, a priceless jewel is stolen and the career of a talented artist is left ruined. In 2017 Elodie is working as an archivist for the estate of a famous Victorian philanthropist. She finds a leather satchel containing a sketchbook and a framed photograph. The drawing of a house in the book intrigues her, it reminds her of the house from faery tales told to her by her mother. Could it be the same house? And why does the woman in the photograph seem so familiar?
As I was writing this review I was trying to think of how many separate lives this house touched that were brought into the narrative. I believe there are five time periods with the events of 1862 and the present day the strong focuses of the novel. There are a number of parts to the tale, each focusing on a different time period and individual or family living at the house. Even with all the different characters and times the author does a superb job and you don’t forget who people are or lose the time period. As with all books with multiple timelines it all ties up at the end.
The character development was well done with each character being well defined especially the entity inhabiting the house and the house itself. There is a bit of the supernatural in the book but the author makes it seem very natural, as natural as having part of a story told by a ghost can be. Fans of historical fiction, mysteries and well-crafted tales will really enjoy Morton’s latest.