Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The House at Riverton: A Novel Paperback – March 3, 2009
|New from||Used from|
"A Buccaneer at Heart" by Stephanie Laurens
Best-selling author Stephanie Laurens continues The Adventurers Quartet, a riveting blend of Regency-era high seas adventure, a mystery shrouded in the heat of tropical jungles, and the passionate romances of four couples and their unexpected journeys into love. Learn more | See related books
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
To give away more of the plot would be to rob other readers of the sublime delight I found in reading this book. It is told through the eyes of an old lady who has known great sorrow and some joy, who has seen Edwardian society give way to hard rock and managed to adapt to it all with wisdom and humor. The story paints a vivid picture of life among the idle rich before and after the first War, how carefree children became conflicted adults, and how passion erupted in gunfire one grand summer night.
The author has written such a wonderful story I sobbed through the last chapters, not wanting it to end. It would make a great movie - it's powerful, dramatic, and heartbreaking, equal parts of mystery, romance, and history - and is the best book I've read in a long time.
I won't recount the plot or slip in any spoilers, but I want to make note of what a wonderful job Morton does of depicting the unraveling of the constricting social mores after WWI, especially for women and for the service class as they shed the oppression of the Victorian age and entered the "Roaring 20s" with its bohemian and jazzy style.
There are the usual and expected "errors of birth" that we won't be terribly surprised by...we know some secrets before Grace figures them out herself, but one is saved for the end and nicely slipped in.
"The House at Riverton" has been a best seller in England and Morton's homeland, Australia, and I can understand why; I expect it will do very well here in the US, too, as we are endlessly fascinated by tales of British high society and all the intricacies of the upstairs/downstairs ways of life. I will anxiously await Morton's next novel!
A scandalous tragedy at a lavish English party in 1924 is about to be made into a movie and, as the last surviving person from the event, Grace is interviewed by a dedicated young filmmaker. The filmmaker wants to be clear on all details of a young poet's suicide and present an accurate portrayal. Only Grace knows that history in not correct and what everyone thinks happened did not happen at all. She has kept the secret for over 70 years and it has haunted her memory.
Morton does a masterful job of taking the reader into the lives of the idle rich, the servants who are devoted to them, and the secret liaisons that connect the two classes in forbidden ways. The conflict between desire and possibility is played out generation after generation.
The unreliability of accepted facts, the haunting of the present by the past, and the inescapability of inherited social standing determining one's fate all combine for a searing story I could not put down.
The characters are wonderfully three-dimensional, the plot well-paced and highly believable, the explosive conclusion well worth the time invested. I cannot recommend this one highly enough and can only hope Kate Morton continues to gift us with her talent for storytelling.
The novel begins in 1999 with a 98-year-old Grace, now nearing her end as a resident in a nursing home. A filmmaker who's directing a retrospective of Riverton approaches her, eager to plumb her memories of the house, her years of service and Robbie's death. This project becomes a catalyst for Grace's revelations of her time at Riverton and the disastrous misunderstanding that led to that fateful night. The story unfolds through flashbacks, alternating between the early 1900s and 1999.
One can almost tell that Ms. Morton is a romantic at heart. Her characters are imbued with the tragic romanticism pervasive in historical fiction. Whether this is a welcome element or not depends greatly on the reader's preferences. I find it to be tedious only because I prefer stark realism. (For example, it would have been far more interesting for me if WWI had been woven into the characters' lives in more than a cursory way, considering that it toppled four empires and its casualties numbered in the tens of millions.) Even setting that aside, the "Upstairs Downstairs" redux here is too obvious. The characters that populated the 1970s miniseries are unashamedly `resurrected' so to speak--Mr. Hudson is now Mr. Hamilton, Mrs. Bridges is now Mrs. Townsend, Ruby is now Katie, Rose is now Grace, etc.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nice, easy read. Reads like the events could really have happened.Published 11 days ago by L. Collier
No surprises in this book. What's more I found the quality of the writing disappointing. I read it while commuting and zipped through it. Not bad if you want a light read.Published 13 days ago by antbethf
My last book by Kate Morton. I've now read them all and this is by far, sigh, my least favorite. The House at Riverton was slow paced, scattered, uninteresting at times, divulged... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Farnoosh Brock
This writer is amazing. I love her sentence structure and the historical references. I also like that she uses different narrators in her books.Published 22 days ago by lynn i mogensen
Kate Morton knows how to entice the reader into a really deep secret in an intriguing historical setting. No clue what secret Gracie almost took to her grave.Published 24 days ago by Laverne R. Swanson
It was a good book, but I had a hard time getting into it. But once I did, I enjoyed it very much. I enjoy Kate Morton's writing, because of the settings, period, and for the... Read morePublished 27 days ago by D. Remington