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The Clockmaker's Daughter - Kate Morton

The Clockmaker's Daughter

Paperback Published: 12th September 2018
ISBN: 9781742376523
Number Of Pages: 592

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Kate Morton's highly acclaimed novels have sold over 11 million copies worldwide and are number one bestsellers around the world.

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.

Staff Review
by Sarah McDuling


There is a certain undeniable magic to a Kate Morton novel. Whenever I pick up one of her books, I know that I’m about to be transported through time into a haunting world full of mystery. I expect to be utterly beguiled by lush descriptions of beautiful old homes and gorgeous countryside, lulled into a dreamlike trance by lyrical prose while an intricate and spellbinding tale unfolds on the page.

The Clockmaker’s Daughter gave me everything I expected and more! This is a story with a lot of moving parts, grand in scope and full of bewitching charm.

Jumping back and forth through time, the story touches on the lives of a large cast of interconnected characters. In fact, given the number of characters and different time periods covered in this story, this may be Kate Morton’s most complex book to date. If this sounds daunting, rest assured that despite the many characters and multiple timelines The Clockmaker’s Daughter is every bit as engrossing as Kate Morton’s previous novels – if not more so. In fact, the complex plot may be the greatest strength of this gorgeous book. While reading, I found myself marveling over the way that all the different plot-lines were drawn together with such “clockwork” precision.

Kate Morton is an expert at wielding happenstance and fate like tools to connect her characters across time. Accidents and coincidences work like magic, creating a world full of dramatic irony in which each surprising plot twist unfolds like destiny. An event in the distant past can echo through generations to affect people in the most unexpected ways. The truth cannot remain hidden forever – the past has a way of making itself heard.

In this case, the past concerns a mysterious and charismatic woman called Birdie Bell – definitely one of the best narrators I have encountered in some time. It also involves a brotherhood of bohemian artists, a lost diamond, a tragic murder and a missing woman. The truth of what happened at Birchwood Manor in the summer of 1862 has been shrouded in mystery for over one hundred and fifty years. The discovery of a photograph will set events in motion for a long buried secret to emerge.

A truly hypnotic tale that is bound to please both fans and newcomers, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is another wonderful read from one of Australian’s most beloved authors.

ISBN: 9781742376523
ISBN-10: 1742376525
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 592
Published: 12th September 2018
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3
Weight (kg): 0.78

Earn 46 Qantas Points
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Kate Morton

About the Author


Kate Morton was born in South Australia and, as a child, moved with her family many times before they settled, finally, on Tamborine Mountain in south-east Queensland. There she attended a tiny country school and spent much of her childhood inventing and playing games of make-believe with her two sisters.

Kate fell avidly in love with books very early. Her favourites were those by Enid Blyton. It was a love deeply felt, for it is still mysteries and secrets that dance around the edges of Kate's mind, keeping her awake deep into the night, turning or typing pages.

When she finished school, Kate studied and earned a Licentiate in Speech and Drama from Trinity College London. After an ill-fated attempt to do something sensible and obtain an Arts/Law degree, she went on to complete a summer Shakespeare course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and for some time believed her future lay in theatre.

Until one day she realised that it wasn't performing she was in love with. It was words and stories.

Kate began writing in earnest and completed two full-length manuscripts (which lie deep and determinedly within a bottom drawer) before settling finally into the story that would become The House at Riverton (The Shifting Fog). Meanwhile, Kate graduated from the University of Queensland with First Class Honours in English Literature and took up a scholarship to complete a Masters degree focusing on tragedy in Victorian literature.

The House at Riverton was a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2007 and a New York Times bestseller in 2008. The Shifting Fog won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2007 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA), and The House at Riverton was nominated for Most Popular Book at the British Book Awards in 2008.

Her second book, The Forgotten Garden, was a #1 bestseller in Australia and Spain, and a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2008. It won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2009 Australian Book Industry Awards and was a New York Times bestseller in 2009.

The Distant Hours was an international bestseller in 2010 and won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2011 ABIAs.

The Secret Keeper was a New York Times bestseller and has won a number of other awards and accolades including the 2013 ABIA for General Fiction Book of the Year and The Courier-Mail's People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year.

The Lake House, published in 2015, was a New York Times bestseller and a #1 bestseller in Canada and Australia. It will be published around the world in 2016.

Kate's books are published in 39 countries and in 32 languages. She currently lives in London with her family and continues to write the sorts of books she can disappear inside.

Visit Kate Morton's Booktopia Author Page