Synopsis: 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.
Sometimes when reading a book I try and picture it as a film and often if a book is good enough you can really see the story come alive in your mind. With The Clockmaker’s Daughter I could imagine it as a TV series. One of those prime time BBC1 Sunday dramas. The book is such a sweeping joy covering around 150 years and while there is a story of Birdie, a ghost at Birchwood Manor there are several linked stories that take place over time from her birth to modern day. There are many characters and the book chops and changes timelines rather than follow time linear and I think that I would have liked to have had maybe some title headers to know what period we were about to be in but it didn’t affect the overall story for me. I absolutely loved it.