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
This is one of the best. I thought the narration was wonderful and suited the plot and the characters very well. I was disappointed to reach the end and look forward to more by this author.
Dedicated dog lover. Ripperologist. Doll collector. World traveller.
The unabridged version is very long, but all the details are interesting. The storyline and writing are incredible and I savored every word. At the end of the book, I started to cry with some sadness and a little joy. I only gave the book 4 stars because, althought I didn't guess the correct ending, what really happened wasn't worth the 11 hours I put into this book. But don't let that stop you from listening to it. I had a truly enjoyable journey back to the early 19th Century, and as a bonus, may have some ideas how I would like to conduct myself at the end of my life. AND the narrator was a talented delight.
I enjoyed this book, as it was long, and absorbing. However there were a couple of things that were a bit annoying. The narrators accent was more Australian than English at times and this was distracting. Also although there was quite a big build up to some of the "revelations", there was then very little follow up or exploration. I would probably scored this 3.5 had that been an option - it wasnt amazing, but i'm glad I downloaded it.
This was an interesting period piece; England before the Great War (WWI); manor houses and housemaids; Grace goes to work at the big house when she's 14. She goes from poverty to posh; even though she works hard. She is nearly 100 and is looking back at her life; and, in the meantime, there is a movie being made of the events at the house. You get a very nice flavor of the first part of the century and the changes made by the war. but its like a fancy box with a cracker jack ring inside; the guts did not measure up to the packaging, in my opinion. the narrator is very good; has a nice way to make different voices different. there are no bad words, although there are love affairs. Not really a book for children, anyway; although teenagers might like it.
I was disappointed, as I really enjoyed her book, the Forgotten Garden -- could not put it down but did not want it to end -- and had hoped for another like that. Well, this wasn't it. But it was done well and you could get lost in the gothic drama of it all.
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This book started off really slowly, but it got better. Unfortunately in the end I was disappointed with the "big reveal". It didn't really live up to all that I think it made you believe it would be. The writing and the setting was phenomenal so I give it four stars, and I think most people would like it.
Did you know that this book is sad, tragic even? Because I sure didn't, so I just thought I would warn you. To be fair, I probably should have seen it coming, but I assumed that it would be more about the events after the suicide and how they changed Grace. Be warned, it is not.
As for the story, while it was really long (and some parts really dragged), it's very engrossing and almost addictive at times. But I hated the fact that it was so sad... so I have about 30 minutes left, and a minute away from the big reveal. However, I'm not going to listen to the end. Instead I'm just going to imagine my own ending. It's better that way...
Whilst I didn't completely buy into the narration of a 98 year old, the story is very faithful of the old school gothic manner to which it clearly aspires. Morton's writing is loving and sensitive and Caroline Lee serves up some quite lively storytelling. I wanted to like this a bit more than I actually did, but it was a quite inoffensive yarn nonetheless.
This one took a little longer to get into than her other book,The Forgotten Garden, but this is up there with some of my favorite listens. You don't know the answer to the mystery (completely) until the very last word. It is a well written and brilliantly crafted story, that proves that the smallest choices and minor ommissions create the most dramatic results. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. My only minor complaint is the narrator's inability to get an American accent right. Apparently we sound incredibly nasily and flat. : ) I just winced, ignored it, and went on listening. I'm ready to download another of Kate Morton's books. Don't miss this one if you love a good mystery.
Listen to about four audio books a months. Never without one.
I love historical fiction and this book didn't let me down. I enjoyed everything about it. The narration was excellent and never interfered with the story. I almost didn't upload this book - what a loss that would have been. A must read.
I think the only emotion I did not feel in this story was scary. And that is Great!! This is absolutely an emotional story. You feel as if you are a spirit and seeing all of the events happen. Loved it!!
I haven't read the printed book
Lovely voice though a bit Australian at times
The end is very moving
Beautifully written it gives the reader a clear view of life in a stately home in the 20's and 40's.
A gripping story beautifully told by the author and wonderfully narrated. The storyline holds the attention all the way through with vivid compelling characters playing out the twists and turns of their lives. You always know there is going to be a dramatic ending and what an ending it is. The secrets are exposed to reveal what really happened. There is guilt, sadness and drama and is one of those books where the story stays with you afterwards. I will be adding this to my list of favourites.
"A beautifully crafted story"
This is a story that wends its way back and forwards though time gradually giving you the answers to build up the full picture of the situation at the time. It is very atmospheric and is hard to stop listening to!
I didn't give it 5 stars purely because of the narrator, who doesn't seem to be able to get to grips with different accents , resulting in many of the characters seeming to speak with an Australian accent, especially the servants. I have noticed this before with this narrator and I find it brings me back to reality when I am immersed in the book.
This is a great book and one that is easy to get into and addictive to the end!
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