Like Leslie Parry’s Church of Marvels, The Clockmaker’s Daughter offers readers the opportunity to piece together the story in such a way that they will reel for days afterward, shocked at the conclusion but understanding exactly how everyone fits together like a perfectly designed jigsaw puzzle. The mysteries’ finales feel like deep, emotional breaths of relief, contrasted with the less-than-tidy ending, which still matches the context and mood of the overall novel. It is realistic, if not tied in a pretty bow. I found it very satisfying ... I rarely discover books worth quoting or memorizing. Such writing typically has strong visual and visceral pulls, and the world within the pages must be so tantalizing and tactile that it sits in a person’s bones for a long time. The Clockmaker’s Daughter is just such a book, unfolding each hidden veil in a delicious, well-choreographed dance ... yet another gift of lovely words and deep storylines. It is a worthwhile read...to figure out the mysteries locked within the pages.
Everyone likes a good ghost story, and at its best, Kate Morton’s The Clockmaker’s Daughter is exactly that ... Morton certainly weaves an elaborate tapestry — but that’s not necessarily a good thing as the story devolves into an increasingly tedious, convoluted affair ... If readers are willing to navigate its labyrinthine path, they may ultimately find The Clockmaker’s Daughter rewarding. Still, one couldn’t blame them for giving up on the ghost.
The Clockmaker’s Daughter is overstuffed with incident, but readers who enjoy a symphony of voices and multiple storylines will find much to like here ... It’s an imaginative tale for fans of historical fiction.
.... [a] new saga of substance ... Morton leisurely layers Gothic details with classic romantic suspense, shifting between past and present, spinning involving stories within stories ... Still, one wishes for more surprises in the crowded narrative. There’s enough material for several novels, and a couple of characters — little Lucy, Juliet the reporter — are worthy heroines on their own.
...in her most ambitious work yet, she deftly weaves together the stories of Elodie; Birdie; Edward’s sister, Lucy; a curious female student at the turn of the century; an academic in the late 1930s; a young family evacuating London during WWII; and a legend about medieval fairies. It sounds like a lot, but with Birchwood Manor, a Tudor-era home with secrets of its own, as the anchor and the missing Radcliffe Blue diamond as the chain, Morton proves once again that history is not a straight line but an intricate, infinite web.
The Clockmaker's Daughter is not a book you can settle into easily, and I will be the first to admit that Morton makes her readers work for answers, but I can assure you that the satisfaction of tying up all the loose ends is worth every ounce of confusion ... Morton’s characters tugged at my heartstrings and made the story unputdownable. Even her supporting and minor characters felt intensely personal, and it is not difficult to find a reason to connect with each and every one of them ... For those looking for a leisurely and thoughtful read full of lush settings and vivid characters, The Clockmaker's Daughter is the perfect blend of mystery, nostalgia and love. Morton’s passion for intertwining plotlines is at its height here, and longtime fans will appreciate the lengths to which she has pushed herself, though newcomers might be better off starting with an earlier, shorter title from this gem of an author.
The Clockmaker’s Daughter, too, has all the signature twists of a gothic Morton tale: deeply buried secrets, fateful twists, and old homes that almost breathe and reverberate from the energy contained within. But for Morton’s new novel, an actual spirit supplies the otherworldly ambiance.
The author's current architectural bellwether is Birchwood Manor, a country house on the Thames. Successive generations have inhabited Birchwood, which was the summer home, briefly, of Victorian artist Edward Radcliffe, member of a Pre-Raphaelite–esque painting cabal. All the people for whom Birchwood holds a special attraction are, in some way, abandoned children. The unifying presence at Birchwood is Lily, whose connection, presumably romantic, with Edward is not immediately revealed. She is also the only permanent tenant, since she is a ghost. Lily spies on the other guests, most recently Jack, a photojournalist, and occasionally meddles ...The ratcheting between eras makes sorting the many characters all the more challenging, while the powerful theme of bereft childhood gets lost in an excess of exemplars. Nevertheless, those who appreciate a leisurely and meditative read, with lush settings, meticulous period detail, and slowly unfurling enigmas, will enjoy this book ... Overpopulated and overworked.
...In contemporary London, Elodie, a young archivist, encounters among her employer’s collection a satchel, a photographic portrait, and a sketch of a country house. The sketch, in particular, arouses Elodie’s professional curiosity and her memories, since it bears close resemblance to a house figuring heavily in the magical stories her late mother once told her. The trail of Elodie’s research—spurred by her discovery that the sketch depicts an actual place—is woven together with tales of the house’s various denizens between 1862 and the present, as well as with the voice of a spirit who haunts its walls ... stories brilliantly told by Morton, offer musings on art, betrayal, and the ways in which real lives and real places can evolve over time into the stuff of legends.