Summer 1924: On the eve of a glittering Society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again.
Winter 1999: Grace Bradley, 98, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken, and memories, long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind, begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge, something history has forgotten but Grace never could.
Set as the war-shattered Edwardian summer surrenders to the decadent twenties, The House at Riverton is a thrilling mystery and a compelling love story.
An alternate title for this novel is The Shifting Fog.
©2006 Kate Morton; (P)2006 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
After listening to Forgotten Garden and loving it, I decided to try Shifting Fog or also titled The House at Riverton. This story had so much potential but sadly was really slow. As slow as the 90+ y/o woman in it. Funny but I actually felt like I was 90+ years old with the way the story trailed off.
While this book does have some good points, I agree with the listeners who found it s-l-o-w. The plot twists are somewhat predictable - you will figure them out hours before the author finally reveals them. It is hard to develop much sympathy for a character whose primary dialogue consists of "Yes, Miss" and "No, Miss." I agree that the narrator's accent was distracting. There are some good character sketches, though.
I really did enjoy this book and was sorry when it was over. I like the time period, around WWI in England. The narration was great and really fit the story of Grace. The whole plot hinges around the suicide of the poet Robbie and the twist at the end and how it involves Grace really keeps you listening. I usually listen to my audio books when I walk but I got to the last hour and had to keep listening once I got home to see how it came out.
I loved every minute of this lovely book. I wanted it to go on and on into the next generations. This book was magnificently written and beautifully narrated.
The unabridged version seems to be a daunting length when you first pick it up, but it is worth every minute, and then some.
Listen to this book!
This is a very slow listen, and not a lot happens for long stretches at a time - however, it does make a nice change to do a slow book from time to time - but my major gripe is with the narrator - the book is extremely well read and easy to listen to, but why does she start with an English accent and then give up after an hour or so and slip back into Australian? It's very bizarre listening to her reading Cockney parts with a broad Aussie twang! However, in summary - gentle and undemanding - good for the early mornings.
This was a wonderful story. I thought I figured out the end, but surprise!! It had me until the last word!
Apart from being fairly tedious, I cannot fathom why this book is being read by an Australian, so many mispronunciations - these affect me like fingernails being scraped down a blackboard and I can't listen any more. If you're reading a book about England in the 1920's you should learn the correct way of pronouncing English; particularly how it would have been spoken in that era (before Holywood got its pseudo intellectual hands on it). Marquis is not pronounced marquee - except in French, valet is not pronounced valle, except in French, privacy is not pronounced as a form of private but of privy - globally. If you're not anal and pedantic like me then you may enjoy this but I had to give up after two chapters for fear there may be a lieutenant in it! By the way, I have nothing against Australian accents, Arthur Upfield's Bony novels are amongst my favourite audio books and I relish hearing the authentic Australian-English in those.
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