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The Clockmaker's Daughter

Written by: Kate Morton
Narrated by: Joanne Froggatt
Length: 17 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (108 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 47.83
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Publisher's Summary

Prepare to lose yourself in the enchanting new novel from Kate Morton. 

My father called me Birdie; he said I was his little bird. Others knew me as his child, the clockmaker’s daughter. Edward called me his muse, his destiny. I am remembered as a thief, an imposter, a girl who rose above her station, who was not chaste. 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 in rural Oxfordshire. 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 150 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 it 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.

©2018 Kate Morton (P)2018 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Such a disappointment

This book was such a disappointment. I love Kate Morton. I have read all of her books which only compounded my disappointment with this book. Quite simply - the book was awful. It's like she didn't have an editor to tell her that she had WAY too many characters and story lines. By the time you get to the 'big reveal' you're so beaten down by the huge cast of characters and their inconsequential story lines that go nowhere, you don't even care. I kept listening in hopes that somehow it might all come together but I was disappointed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good, but confusing.

A little confusing for an audio book with all the jumping around between characters and dates. Sometimes hard to follow. Wasn't sure if I'd missed something when I reached the end. The narrator, however, was very good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent story as always

I am a big fan of Kate Morton’s books and this one did not disappoint. The narration by Joanne Froggatt was excellent as well. Her portrayal of both men and women, especially with different accents was perfect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best book ever!

I think this is the best book I’ve heard. It is complex and kept me looking for opportunities to listen to it. Wanting to find out how it all wove together in the end. Lovely!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Riveting

Loved the complexity of this novel. The characters and plots were so engaging. The writing was beautiful. At times I had to read aloud to hear the lovely text.

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Did not enjoy the writing style

Although the story line seemed intriguing, I could not finish this book. I was also not a fan of the narrator's voice.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent!!

I love Kate Morton; her writing is absolute magic. I love how she takes seemingly unrelated stories and weaves them into an intricately woven plot, and, while I admit the Clockmaker’s Daughter wasn’t my favourite novel, this tale was no exception.

First off, I need to state that this particular book was a slow burn. It was a good 30 - 40% into the story before I truly started to get into the groove of the narrative. However, as with other Kate Morton novels, it was an absolute joy to see how the pieces of the mystery fell into place like a jigsaw puzzle; it is why I love this author so much. I can’t imagine how long it takes her to write one of these novels as she has clearly done a ton of research.

As for the characters (and there are a ton in this book), Kate Morton has once again done a superb job appealing each of them to the reader, whether it be in a positive or negative way. One can't help but feel something for each and every one of the characters in the book. My only complaint in this regard is that there were almost too many characters in The Clockmaker's Daughter - it was quite a task to keep track of each on and their connections to the main story.

Finally, in terms of the narration, Joanne Froggatt did an excellent job bringing the story and its large cast of characters to life. She was excellent to listen to, which was important as the story was over 17 hours long.

Overall, while this wasn't my favourite Kate Morton novel (The Secret Keeper will always have my heart), The Clockmaker's Daughter was an excellent read/listen and another fine example of why I love Kate Morton's stories so much. I would absolutely recommend this novel to my fellow readers and audio addicts.

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Beautiful

I feel very sad that it’s over, it was such a wonderful book, made me very emotional but such a beautiful story. I will say that I wish it ended differently, it all tied up nicely but it could have gone on. Maybe just because I enjoyed it so much and didn’t want it to end!

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Kate Morton’s magic

Typically magical as all Kate’s novels, loved it and loved the performance. All the subtle voices etc brought everyone to life and I found it easy to follow even with many characters and dates

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  • A
  • 2019-01-15

Terrible ending, very rushed!

Worst ending possible. Too many loose ends. Talented writer but does not reach her full potential with this novel. A disappointment.

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  • maxine
  • 2018-09-21

Good but feels rushed in the ending

I adore Kate Mortons books they make me cry, make me feel and normally I am bewitched by them. This book does not have the same appeal and I am so sorry. Joannes narration is as always amazing, but the story has too many stories within stories that never get resolved - maybe thats the intention but it does result in a constant flicking back and forth.

The concept is brilliant and the setting are part of my childhood so i so wanted to fall in love with this book - but honestly Kate Forsyths Beauty in Thorns by far addresses the era of art and photography more poignantly.

It is still a lovely book but just not on the same par of The Forgotten Garden and Kates previous books which I recommend constantly to friends.

I just didn't feel this book finished itself to many weird loose ends and lost focus somewhat

Still adore Kates writings

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • ASwann
  • 2019-02-22

Will the real Kate Morton please stand up !!

I love Kate Morton books and looked forward to reading this new one BUT ....
I think I will wait and see what her next book might be. It felt like she was bored with what she usually writes and tried something new but we love all her past books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ruth King
  • 2018-11-09

My least favourite of Kate Morton’s books

I love Kate Morton’s books and was so delighted to have a new one to read. But I almost put it aside by the time I got to chapter 20. But finally finished and then read it a second time. Just too many story lines to follow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen Rowe
  • 2019-03-06

A book that’s left me with mixed feelings

Although I love Kate Morton and I think she’s an amazing author, my love of this book is certainly not as clear cut as with the others. The book starts off very much centered on Elodie. Honestly, I found these first chapters boring and actually gave up on the book for a good while, picking up on other books before trying again. I then stopped and started a few times when, suddenly, it sucked me in...

Although I was riveted, there were also a few holes in the story for me, one of them being that Lily seemed to be very educated and well spoken (perhaps that was the narration), despite her upbringing in the underbelly of London. Perhaps her knowledge of Science was due to her friend, Pale Joe, among other mitigating circumstances mentioned by the author, however it still didn’t fully make sense to me.

And then the story never really returns to Elodie - only a third person view of her. There was obviously method in this, however I was a little surprised when the book suddenly ended.

So, the story also seemed a little unrounded to me, although still an enjoyable book in all. I think that pieces of the story will remain with me for a long time.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Simone
  • 2019-02-17

I wish it was told in chronological order

Now that I am done and I can look back on the story, I can say I like it - but as I was reading it it got on my nerves.

I think I would have preferred it if the story had been told in chronological order, I feel l missed out on to much details trying to remember who was who and how they were linked back to so-and-so.

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  • Theresa L
  • 2018-11-08

Not as good as her other books

While I did enjoy this book I found it wasn't as good as her other books. There were way too many characters in this one and I found myself getting confused as to who was who as she would flip times and characters fairly often. I also am not sure if I liked the ending or not, I felt like things were left undone in it. I love Kate Morton's books so am glad I read it, but wish she had done a few things differently in this one.

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  • The Chief
  • 2018-10-25

Kate Morton is back on my must read list.

I was so disappointed in The Lake House I wasn't sure I would buy this book I am so glad I did Loved the story and I was guessing until very close to the end