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
The story was beautiful. I really cared about the characters and at times, felt like part of the family. The narrator was incredible...the best I have ever heard. She has a beautiful voice and does a great job with the different accents. The whole experience was a complete joy that I plan to experience again.
Learning to Love Loves Labours Lost
I don't for a minute believe that a first person narrative character with so little understanding of human behavior and basic, universal driving forces could make it through grad school, let alone become a preeminent archaeologist, a science that relies heavily on instincts for why people tend to do the things they do. How many times did I hear her say, in effect, "If only I had known that..." Yeah, honey, (I kept thinking, and even said out loud a few times), and you are the only moron on the planet who wouldn't have picked up on that. Who but a gatepost could have figured out that motive????" I've never found myself so utterly irritated by a character's basic cluelessness that I struggled with myself over whether or not to finish the book. How disappointing. This is one of those books that tells you on the first page that characters die on the last page...and why not? They're obviously too stupid to live. Fictional Darwinism at its most tedious.
A story so obvious to all but the most emotionally handicapped that I just wanted to bang my head against the wall. Truly, I do hate to offer up such a negative review, but is this all you've got, Ms. Morton? Really? This is the very best story you've got in your head???
An older actress (the lead character IS in her 90s for a big chunk of the book, after all) with a less "PEHHHHHHFECTLY" affected British accent and a bit more dexterity of characterization. She's got three voices, and I was frankly tired of each of them by the end of chapter one. A family member in another room of my house actually came in to ask me how much longer the book was, as the narrator's voice was getting on his last damned nerve. When I told him, he cranked up the Led Zeppelin and told me to call him when it was safe to come out.
Frustrated sarcasm. Bleh. "Drone, whine, whine, drone...everybody's life was just so PEHHHHHHFECTLY beastly after the war, and the rich were all so PEHHHHHHFECTLY self-centered in the '20s"...somebody just shoot me. Downton Abbey this ain't.
How I do hate stories that threaten to go someplace interesting, only to sit there with the plot construction of a first year composition student's not-very-best effort. I just want to break out a copy of The Great Gatsby and thank God fasting for F. Scott Fitzgerald.
There are so many good books in the world to read, don't waste time on the crappy ones !
I relished this book from the first line to the last! What an absolute pleasure! Three days after finishing it and the characters are still living inside my head. Its hard to settle into my next novel when everything is still so vivid and real! If you loved Downton Abbey, you'll love this. And in terms of the narrator, please don't let the detractors put you off, she was just perfect!
Friends who want an easy reading long book.
Grace. She was a professional character.
The House of Riverton is a novel set in a manor house around World War 1. We met the family through the eyes of Grace, a house maid at Riverton. Grace begins working at Riverton when she is 14. As an elderly lady, Grace tells the story of Hannah, Emmeline and Robbie Hunter. I liked this novel. It was easy to predict some of the story lines but it was a good read. I listened to the book on Audible. Sometimes it was a little disjointed because the story jumped from past to present without warning. I think it would have been easier to follow in a book.
If I am to read books of this time period again, I will stick to Edith Wharton.
Entertaining, mystery, romance
If you read Rebecca or Jane Eyre and loved them, then you will enjoy this story. The setting will remind readers of the BBC hit Downton Abby. The story line starts in current times and flashes back the early 1900's but smooth writing and a good narrator never leave you confused.
Yes. This book is reminiscent of Downton Abbey (a favorite).
Definitely the accent. It's always a plus to hear the voices rather than to simply imagine them.
I absolutely loved this book. I cannot believe this is Kate Morton's debut novel. Can't wait to see what else she comes up with as she gets more experienced. I love the time period the story is set in--the flashbacks are set in, that is. Ms. Morton handled the going back & forth between time periods excellently. I enjoyed the narrator, too. She did a wonderful job. The book is quite long but I liked that. I have a long commute each day & audiobooks is how I stay awake. I look forward to listening to or reading everything Kate Morton writes from now on. I cannot recommend this book & her enough.
This is the second or third of her books I've bought on Audible and I will watch for more from her. Her stories are intellectually engaging and she has good character development. I have always been an Anglophile when it comes to novels and she is right up my alley.
the story was captivating
the revelation of the truth
she did a great job of bringing the characters to life.
Great audiobook. I was looking for a WWI period book (to help fill the void left by the end of the Downton Abbey season) and this turned out to be a really good story. Morton is a skilled writer, her language is beautiful and touching. The story has some lovely twists and the dual timeline adds an extra dimension. The narrator did an excellent job too.
Report Inappropriate Content