The Clockmaker’s Daughter
by Kate Morton, Allen & Unwin
“Your mother was a proper lady,” female Fagin Mrs Mack tells Birdie Bell, seven, after her clockmaker father leaves her. Birdie was born twice – once to her mother, who died when she was four, and to Mrs Mack and her house of abandoned children. The clockmaker’s “little bird” went with him on repair jobs. Birdie becomes Mrs Mack’s most valuable thief. Unlike the street urchins, her elegance can con the arty theatre set. It’s 1862 and artists gather at Birchwood Manor to paint, led by owner artist Edward Radcliffe. By the end of summer Radcliffe’s ancee is dead and his mysterious muse “Lily Millington” has disappeared. In 2017, archivist Elodie Winslow nds a drawing of a country manor. She is convinced it is the same house in a story her late mother used to tell her as a child. As bones of the past, from Victorian times through the First and Second World Wars to the present, give up the secrets of the house, it shall be a little bird who has witnessed everything who rings in the chimes. Beautifully written, exquisitely staged, brilliantly concluded. An unforgettable ghost story.