Title: The Clockmaker’s Wife
Author: Daisy Wood
Published: June 2nd 2021
Publisher: Avon GB – HarperCollins Books Australia
Genres: Fiction, Historical
Rating: 4 stars
The world is at war. And time is running out… London, 1940. Britain is gripped by the terror of the Blitz, forcing Nell Spelman to flee the capital with her young daughter – leaving behind her husband, Arthur, the clockmaker who keeps Big Ben chiming.
When Arthur disappears, Nell is desperate to find him. But her search will lead her into far darker places than she ever imagined…
New York, Present Day. When Ellie discovers a beautiful watch that had once belonged to a grandmother she never knew, she becomes determined to find out what happened to her. But as she pieces together the fragments of her grandmother’s life, she begins to wonder if the past is better left forgotten…
A powerful and unforgettable tale of fierce love, impossible choices and a moment that changes the world forever, perfect for fans of Fiona Valpy and Suzanne Kelman.
After working as an editor and writing several historical fiction-based books for children, Daisy Wood has ventured into the field of adult wartime fiction with The Clockmaker’s Wife. A dual timeline story centered around Big Ben, The Clockmaker’s Wife offers the reader an imaginative step into times past.
The Clockmaker’s Wife first propels the reader to London in the year 1940. Britain is in the depths of the deadly Blitz. We meet a young mother named Nell, who is faced with the difficult decision to move away from London with her daughter, leaving her husband to face life in Britain’s capital alone. We learn that Nell’s husband Arthur is a clockmaker, who is charged with the important task of keeping Britain’s most important timepiece turning. But further drama awaits this young family when Arthur vanishes. Nell is determined to find her beloved husband, but this search takes a desperate and dark turn. The Clockmaker’s Wife then travels forward in time as we venture to New York in the present day. We are acquainted with Ellie, a woman who unearths a stunning family heirloom. This antique watch leads Ellie on an important family quest to discover what happened to her family in the war.
Daisy Wood is a new author in the adult historical fiction field. I was immediately intrigued by this title. A story based around one of the most iconic world landmarks seemed to hold great promise. I always appreciate a dual timeline narrative, so Daisy Wood’s book soon hooked me in with very little effort at all! I’m pleased to report that I really enjoyed The Clockmaker’s Wife, it was a solid read. I have no hesitation in recommending this new release.
Firstly, Wood provides the reader with plenty of interesting information surrounding the inner workings of Big Ben. I loved this aspect of the tale, along with Arthur’s work as a clockmaker. Wood also indulges in some excellent wartime world building in the 1940s based timeline of her novel. We are presented with a full and detailed picture of the Blitz raging through Britain when the book begins its journey. With strong images conjured up of the dangers and destruction of the Second World War, Wood delves deep into the psyche of the British population during this uncertain era. Wood captures the raw emotion, confusion, loss and resolve during this transitional time period. Difficult choices and heartbreaking decisions had to made, often at a whim. Wood does a very good job of developing our understanding of this tragic time in our recent past. I really felt for the characters based in the wartime narrative thread. They were faced with the unthinkable and they were also tested to their very limits. I admired Nell’s spirit and resolve. Wood allows us to get to grips with this central protagonist very clearly through her emotive form of storytelling. Likewise, Arthur’s was an intriguing character. Arthur presence adds drama and mystery to the tale. I really connected to this component of The Clockmaker’s Wife.
In the present day, Wood takes us to New York as we meet Ellie, a woman on a quest to solve a family riddle surrounding her grandmother and a valued watch. Ellie’s story was just as interesting as the historical aspect of The Clockmaker’s Wife. I came to see Ellie’s role in this engrossing story as the seeker of information as to her family’s past history. Ellie was an agreeable present-day protagonist and I found I clicked with her story almost immediately. I wanted to encourage Ellie every step of the way as she made many important leaps in solving this family mystery. This component of the book is finely tuned and it also encourages the reader to remain loyal with Ellie until the final destination point.
With even pacing, fluid transitions between the past and present, fascinating characters, a vivid backdrop, plenty of history, specific detail on Big Ben and refined prose, The Clockmaker’s Wife proved to be a very engaging read.
The Clockmaker’s Wife by Daisy Wood was published on 2nd June 2021 by Avon – GB. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Clockmaker’s Wife, Daisy Wood visit here.
*I wish to thank HarperCollins Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.