Kate Morton likens this story to a piece of cloth; the homes in it the thread to the weave. She has covered a large array of topics, covering such things as time, truth, beauty, relationships and home. In this engaging saga, the narrative is told over a period of time by many voices, including a spirit and a modern day archivist. The stories they tell and the way their lives inter twine is captivating.
The focal point of The Clockmaker’s Daughter has to be the house, Birchwood Manor. Its story has been told for many generations. One night, in ancient times, three children arrived on the doorstep of the Manor with the couple who lived there taking them in and caring for them. Local people began to say that their crops had failed, and accidents had occurred because of the strange children. But the couple protected them from harm. Months later the Fairy Queen arrived at the house and thanked the couple for looking after her lost children. She took the children back but left a safety spell around the Manor.
The beginning of this saga tells of a time long ago. Then we meet an Archivist named Elodie, who lives in 2017. She has come across a box at her workplace which has been hidden accidentally for many years. As she begins to expose the contents she discovers links to her own childhood, along with an artist’s sketch of the house (Birchwood Manor) of which her late mother had told her stories. Gradually information is gleaned and Elodie is drawn to visit the Manor. She discovers stories that help to clarify her Mother’s past.
There are many other stories to be unravelled. Tip, who is Elodie’s Uncle, was raised by his mother in London until the war broke out. They moved to the country and stayed in Birchwood Manor. Their family story is fascinating and brings to light the struggle for displaced families. But the most passionate love affair took place in the 1700s in the Manor which was owned by an artist. Edward was a well to do young painter who fell deeply in love with his model Lilly. She was not only beautiful, but intelligent, kind and honest. Theirs was a true and deep love which pervaded the house for all time.
This is an extraordinary saga which looks at features that make humans behave the way they do. It covers many people, places and times and takes us on a journey that shares in the lives and outcomes of the actions that people take.
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|