Thursday, October 27, 2011

The House at Riverton, by Kate Morton

I'm not usually one to buy books..I'm a huge fan of borrowing from the library, which we typically visit once or twice each week. But last month I happened to spot two of (The Forgotten Garden author) Kate Morton's books at Costco...The House at Riverton and The Distant Hours. Since they were both soft cover and accordingly well priced, I tossed them in my cart.

I finally finished The House at Riverton this week, and I did enjoy it. It is a mix of current story and flashbacks, which are woven together quite seamlessly. There is one over-arching mystery that isn't answered until the very last pages, and although I am typically a great one for correctly predicting story lines (drives my husband crazy when we watch movies, as I just always know what is going to happen next!), this one I couldn't quite predict. I had a general feeling for how things went, but there were too many different options for me to narrow it down to the correct one. So in that sense, I enjoyed being "out of the loop" for once! :o)

One interesting aspect of the book is that the main character, Grace, began her life as a housemaid, then left the service to earn a doctorate in archaeology. Yet, even as a well-respected academic, she still retained that deeply-rooted sense of class and the importance of service, and of putting "the family" ahead of oneself. This is definitely a sentiment that has been left in the past!

From the back cover:

Grace Bradley was just a girl when she began working as a servant at Riverton House. For years, her life was inextricably tied up with the glamorous and eccentric Hartford family's daughters, Hannah and Emmeline. Then, at a glittering society party in the summer of 1924, a young poet shot himself. The only witnesses were Hannah and Emmeline, and only they -- and Grace -- knew the dark truth.

Many years later, when Grace is living out her last days in a nursing home, she receives a visit from a young director who is making a film about the events of that summer. The director takes Grace back to Riverton House and reawakens her memories of the last days of Edwardian aristocratic privilege, of the vibrant twenties and of a stunning secret that Grace kept all her life.


  1. This is my favourite Kate Morton book - the twist at the end really got me too!

  2. How ridiculously happy was I to see two new book reviews - and in one day! Can I borrow this one from you Chandra?!

  3. Reading this one now!! Love her books.


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