The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

1. First lines. 2. Publisher: Allen and Unwin; Simon and Schuster 2018 3. The Manor House, Market Overton By Alan Murray-Rust [cc-by-sa/2.0] Changes: cropped and overlaid via geograph UK
Although it’s marathon at nearly 500 pages, this story delivers a satisfying ending.

Plot summary: Ranging through centuries, this story weaves together generations of families connected with Birchwood Manor, a house on the Upper Thames. There’s a mysterious murder and a love affair (a few, actually); family secrets and a valuable diamond; Bohemian artists and a grand country house.

Quotes from the book:

  • I have learned that one must forgive oneself the past or else the journey into the future becomes unbearable.” p. 302
  • “The first rain – big, fat drenching drops – fell as they were leaving the churchyard, and Jack said, “I never imagined that it would rain like this in England.” “Are you kidding? Rain is what we do best.” p. 481

Extract: PDF: The Clockmaker’s Daughter. Sample chapter; Read an extract online; Kate Morton website

Reading Group Guide: The Clockmaker’s Daughter – Reading Group Guide


  • 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. Kirkus review
  • … masterfully constructed. It is no small feat to write a novel of such density, with such a diverse array of characters, spanning multiple historical periods. Not only has Kate Morton done that, she’s done it with panache. Better Reading

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