The House at Riverton

The House at Riverton

A Novel

Book - 2008
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The House at Riverton is a gorgeous debut novel set in England between the wars. Perfect for fans of Downton Abbey , it is the story of an aristocratic family, a house, a mysterious death and a way of life that vanished forever, told in flashback by a woman who witnessed it all and kept a secret for decades.

Grace Bradley went to work at Riverton House as a servant when she was just a girl, before the First World War. For years her life was inextricably tied up with the Hartford family, most particularly the two daughters, Hannah and Emmeline.

In the summer of 1924, at a glittering society party held at the house, a young poet shot himself. The only witnesses were Hannah and Emmeline and only they -- and Grace -- know the truth.

In 1999, when Grace is ninety-eight years old and living out her last days in a nursing home, she is visited by a young director who is making a film about the events of that summer. She takes Grace back to Riverton House and reawakens her memories. Told in flashback, this is the story of Grace's youth during the last days of Edwardian aristocratic privilege shattered by war, of the vibrant twenties and the changes she witnessed as an entire way of life vanished forever.

The novel is full of secrets -- some revealed, others hidden forever, reminiscent of the romantic suspense of Daphne du Maurier. It is also a meditation on memory, the devastation of war and a beautifully rendered window into a fascinating time in history.

Originally published to critical acclaim in Australia, already sold in ten countries and a #1 bestseller in England, The House at Riverton is a vivid, page-turning novel of suspense and passion, with characters -- and an ending -- the reader won't soon forget.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2008, c2006.
ISBN: 9781416550532
9781416550518
1416550518
Characteristics: 473 p. ;,24 cm.

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t
tnscott
Sep 01, 2017

Excellent read. Love the story, the way it was written.....Morton is a new fav of mine!!!

j
juliawiklof
Aug 24, 2017

My own audiobook

m
marthabwaters
Jan 11, 2017

This is often touted as a good readalike for fans of Downton Abbey, and I do agree with that, but a warning: this book is sad. Given the topic (it traces the events leading up to the suicide of a young poet at a country house party in 1924), that shouldn't be terribly surprising, and yet still, a warning that the ending is a doozy. I finished it and just felt bummed. Having said that, it's an absolute page-turner from start to finish, and Morton is adept at bringing the Edwardian period and roaring 20s vividly to life. Fans of glamorous period pieces will enjoy this, but might want tissues at hand.

r
readerpat
Nov 03, 2016

I really loved this book and found it hard to put down. It is about a young woman who is making a movie about a rich family who lived on a big estate called Riverton in the early 1900's in the south of England. She goes to interview an old lady called Grace in a nursing home who worked as a maid there when she was 15 Lots of interesting characters, secrets and love affairs. I think Kate Morton is my favourite author.

s
s390325
Sep 07, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The themes and set-up reminded me of "The Lake House" which the author wrote later; however I think "The Lake House" is a better mystery and suspense story and has more characters that are interesting. There were also parts that reminded me of Downton Abbey. I wish they had gone into more detail about her grandson- I did think the ending was a bit abrupt. I like happy endings, so I wanted to hear more about when she found Alfred again, and her grandson recovering from his grief, at least more than just a mention. Her daughter Ruth was not a very fleshed-out character which is unfortunate because it would have been interesting to find out more about why she was the way she was.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Aug 27, 2016

This novel was an amazing read from start to end. Kate Morton created wonderful characters and kept me guessing, “who did it?” throughout the entire story. The writing could be slow at times, but it made up for it in the amazing description of the house, the characters, and their relationships with one another. I especially loved how the flashbacks allowed me to see where the narrator, Grace, ended up later on in her lifetime. Unlike some other novels where I would usually find this confusing, the transitions from past to present in this book were very clear. The ending was set up perfectly, the secrets were kept well, and the surprises were delivered at the best times. The only thing that could have been improved was that the book could have been less slow paced at the beginning, but don't let that stop you from reading it because later on you will hardly be able to put the book down. Overall, this is one of my favourite books I have read and I would easily recommend it. 4.5/5 stars. - @allthestoriesaretrue of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

u
unexpressed
Jun 24, 2016

I really have enjoyed reading Kate Morton's books...except for this one. Characters and plot lines that went nowhere were frustrating, and I did not appreciate the abrupt ending.

l
lpreston214
Aug 11, 2015

Good book reminiscent of Downton Abbey. There are many secrets at Riverton both among the family and the staff below stairs. The story is told by a former housemaid now in her 90s. Dramatic events build and culminate at a garden party in 1924 with a disastrous and notorious death. Foreshadowing keeps drawing you onward through the draggy parts of the story.

y
young162
Jan 19, 2015

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Have read other Kate Morton's books - my favourite was 'The Secret Keeper'. Ms Morton writes great stories and uses the English language to perfection - I love her metaphors - totally appropriate for the scene she is describing ! Highly recommend this author !

g
gusmcrae
Jan 15, 2015

I really, really enjoyed it. Every time I picked it up, I wanted to stay with it for hours (though sadly, time does not permit). The characters, setting, and plot are all intriguing. The story features the changing society brought about by WWI and an old lady who is reliving her memories of her life during those times. She holds a secret, one she's held for 70 years that is quite heartbreaking. The book reminds me of a blend of "Downton Abbey" (though without the witty humor), "Fried Green Tomatoes" (the movie version with Jessica Tandy as the little old lady with a story to tell), and even "Titanic" (again, the little old lady looking back on her younger years).

I gave it a 4.5 stars because there were a few elements of the story that I felt were a little rushed or not fully explored/explained. But all-in-all, I wish every book I picked up was this satisfying.

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Farouk_2
Dec 26, 2013

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May 22, 2010

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