Monday, 13 September 2021

The Clockmaker's Daughter

Finished September 7
The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

As always, Kate Morton brings the reader a book with history, romance, and so much more. This novel has more than one timeline, all around a core set of characters and a place. 
One of the narrators is unnamed, and the reader gradually learns their story through the narration, and only understands who it is as the story ends. The other main character and narrator is the modern day archivist Elodie Winslow. 
Elodie works as an archivist for a small collection in London focused on the historical figure of James Stratton. He was a philanthropist and we learn a little about him through the course of the novel as well. Elodie is cataloging a few items that were found in a small cloakroom during recent renovations, somehow missed previously. They are a find leather satchel, a sketchpad, and a framed picture. One of the sketches in the book is a scene that Elodie recognizes from a story her mother often told her. This connection touches Elodie and she does something she's never done before and removes them from the office. 
Elodie is engaged to be married to a successful investment banker, and as her wedding nears, she has to make some final decisions around the ceremony and her dress. Her best friend Pippa has offered to design her wedding dress, and Elodie must meet with her soon to give some guidance to her friend. Elodie's mother, Lauren, had been a famous pianist who died in an accident when Elodie was young, and thus she and her father are very close. She is also close to her great uncle, Tip, a quiet man who has a bookstore. Elodie has been asked by her fiance's mother to choose a recording of her mother to play at the wedding and choosing one is another task that Elodie has to do. 
But Elodie continues to be distracted by the image of the house from the sketchbook, and about the photograph of the young woman that she found in the same case. 
As she begins to learn more, we also travel back in time, first to 1862 when the young artist Edward Radcliffe was just becoming famous and takes a party of artist friends and family members to a house he has recently bought that has special meaning to him. We travel to the same house in two other time periods as well as the present, with one time when it was being used as a boarding school, and another when a family took refuge there during World War II. 
As we gradually discover the connections between the various characters in these other times and the present Elodie, we also discover the history of the woman in the photo, and of the house that connects all the characters. 
There is a lot going on here, and romances in more than one time period, sometimes quite unexpected. Elodie also learns more about her own mother and how she feels about this parent she barely remembers. The house is almost a character in itself and there are many interesting personalities that have roles in the story. 
As always with Morton, I thoroughly enjoyed the unfolding story and anticipating some connections while being surprised by others. A great read. 

1 comment:

  1. I read A Clockmaker's Daughter two years ago and really liked it. It is the only book by Kate Morton that I've read so far but I've heard of others that she has written many more that are supposedly even better than this one.

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