Friday, March 4, 2016

Literary Friday: The House at Riverton



Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!

If you've looked at my Goodreads gadget on my sidebar, you've probably noticed that I've been reading this book for over a month.  I loved the book, it's just that I've been super busy getting well and reading for homeschooling.

The House at Riverton is Kate Morton's debut.  Now I've read all of her books, and it's funny that I read her first book last!  I must say that I loved this book (I love ALL of her books), and this one ranks in my top two of hers.


From Goodreads:

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.

The novel opens in 1999 when Grace is ninety-eight years old, 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 in 1924. 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 1920s and of 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 page-turning novel of suspense and passion, with characters—and an ending—the reader won't soon forget.


Kate Morton is at her best when she writes about family secrets, and the one in this book is completely unexpected.  There are several similarities between this book and The Lake House, and I'm glad I read them close together.  Both include young men devastated by the effects of shell shock from World War I and women who are successful in traditionally male-dominated professions.   Both have lovely settings on country estates in England, and both books' climaxes are during a Midsummer's Eve party.  It might sound as if her books are formulaic, but truly they aren't.  Even with the similarities they are very different stories; I find the similarities interesting, though. 

The most interesting relationship in this story is the one between Hannah and her lady's maid, Grace. It is also the most heartbreaking, too.  There is nothing more tragic than mistaken betrayal, especially when the one accused is nothing but loyal to the core.  Emmeline could have been developed a wee bit better, but as the story was told from Grace's point of view, it makes more sense that we know more about Hannah.  

The reader needs to pay close attention to relationships in this book because there are connections that are revealed late in the story arc.  I was not expecting the ending at all.  I was completely shocked and surprised, and I love it when an author takes me down an unexpected path.  

Have you read any of Kate Morton's books?  Do you have a favorite?  

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

Art @ Home
Art @ Home

Welcome to Art @ Home! My name is Ricki Jill Treleaven, and this is where I share creative living with a Southern accent. Live since 2010, Art @ Home is for the reader who wants to discover creative ways to enjoy home through decorating, cooking, reading, and creative projects. I also chronicle the adventures of my busy family.

7 comments:

  1. My daughter is doing some lighter reading this past week. She is rereading the Warrior Cat series, because a new set is going to debut. xoxo Su

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  2. This one sounds good too. I suppose I will need to collect all her books. I have The Secret Keeper, on the stack, waiting... This week I have been reading two decorating books, and I started West With the Night. My eyes are giving me fits, and it is hard to read for long stretches.

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  3. I think I may look for these books after your review. Sounds interesting RJ.
    Happy weekend……...

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  4. Just added this to my MUST READ list---which keeps getting longer and longer and longer. xo Diana

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  5. Ricki Jill you keep giving me books to add to my list to read and I appreciate it, now if you could just give me the secret to having more time :-)
    xoxo,
    Vera

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  6. I've only read one of her books (so far), and I loved it - The Secret Keeper. It was amazing! I'm looking forward to reading more! ♥

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  7. I enjoy Kate Morton. I think Secret Keeper is my favorite.
    Carla

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I read and appreciate all of your comments :D