The Clock­maker’s Daugh­ter

by Kate Mor­ton, Allen & Un­win

The Australian Women's Weekly - - Books -

“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.

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