Gorgeously illustrated cover with a cheery colour palette. A collection of symbolic gestures pertaining to the plot grace the cover; with the use of the clock device carrying more than one meaning. Yes, it echoes the title of the book, yet in a larger sense, it speaks to the passage of time central to the plot’s arc.
Elegant, mesmerising, visceral. Morton manages to conjure up vivid visuals so deliciously, that it’s a treat to read.
Joanna Froggatt of Downton Abbey fame narrated the version I listened to via Audible. She is a talent to behold, who adds depth and warmth to the tale, not to mention carrying the enormous task of capturing a myriad of voices, accents and personalities. She does it with aplomb. I highly recommend listening to this version.
The Magenta Brotherhood is a band of rapscallion young artists obsessed with pre-Raphaelite notions. One summer, in the 1860s, they congress at Birchwood Manor, where mayhem and murder play out.
Years later — over a century and a half to be more precise — an artist’s sketchbook and captivating photograph from that fateful time appear in a young archivist’s hands. And she’s hooked. Without understanding why she’s so drawn to the items and the story they belong to, Elodie embarks on a mission to uncover secrets with which she feels inexplicably connected.
This is the kind of book I melt into. A perfect companion for a time in our lives full of uncertainty and anxiety. I was whisked away to England and coaxed into an intoxicating mystery that centres around art — always a favourite theme of mine.
Morton weaves so many characters into this book, creating a ghostly, mysterious and colourful tapestry of detail. My one complaint, although small, is that a beautiful tapestry usually hides its tangled workings of thread at the back away from the eyes of its beholder — however, at times this one seems to have made both sides visible. A tad messy at times.
Unless you’re equipped with the ability to mentally recall each character and their life’s journey, you may struggle to keep up with piecing together all the threads that dart in and out of the canvas.
This can feel at times tedious to grapple with, yet it’s not a major sore point. I’m left feeling the story becomes that much richer and more imaginative for it.
The writing is exquisite — utterly charming and worthy of memorising and quoting. Morton has an ability to pen thoughts and feelings into works of art that rival any entrancing painting.
There are Gothic themes, romance, a reverence for art, along with a mysterious manor as one of the book’s central characters. It is indeed an otherworldly tale that will make you feel worlds away from your current life.
Fable and Fizz would like to acknowledge the Whadjuck Noongar people as the traditional owners and continual custodians on the lands and waters this content is primarily written on. I pay respects to their Elders — past and present. This always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.