The Clockmaker's Daughter
A NovelBook - 2018
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 charismatic 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. More than 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 a beautiful 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 mysterious, unidentified woman in the photograph? As Elodie pursues these clues, the lives of the many people who have passed through the house are revealed. There is Radcliffe, whose love affair with his model and muse consumes him; his sister Lucy, who opens a school for young ladies; Leonard Gilbert, a soldier and scholar who retreats to Birchwood after World War I to heal and to write a biography of Radcliffe; Juliet, a young widow who takes refuge there with her three small children during the Blitz; and, in the present day, Jack Rolands, who has come from far away to search for lost treasure and who meets Elodie when she eventually arrives at the house. Intricately layered and told by multiple voices across time, this is a kaleidoscopic story of murder, mystery, and thievery, of art, love, and loss. And flowing through its pages 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.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2018
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
Branch Call Number: Fiction Mor
Characteristics: 485 pages : illustration ; 24 cm