Tuesday, November 01, 2011

4. THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON ~ Kate Morton

The House at Riverton: A Novel

Oh, to be Grace Bradley. First, she lives 98 years - imagine the change in daily life. Her grandson is a famous author, but Grace is suddenly thrust into the spotlight because she is the only living reminder of Riverton Manor, as well as what happened there during a summer party.

A film director wants information and "truth" from Grace, and validation that she recreated the scenes correctly. Grace, who had been a maid for the Hartford family, is the only one who knows why the poet was found shot, and why the two Hartford sisters, Emme and Hannah were distraught and separated in their grief. However, Grace shares her memories and observations through tapes to her grandson, to be played only after she passes away.

For those who have read my reviews, you know how this would appeal to me as a lover of historical work. However, the details of servant life in early 1900s Great Britain, especially when tipped against the wealth at Riverton, is confounding and admirable.

I had one moment where I thought, "Grace, why didn't you...?" and readers will know it. But that wasn't the focus of this novel. It is about the beauty and glamour of the Hartford's and their multiple tragedies. Beautifully written, though a big slow toward the end.

4.2 out of 5.0 Fog Cutters.

4 comments:

Cath said...

I remember devouring this book when it came out. This is my favorite of Morton's novels so far.

Kristin Dodge said...

Cath, did the you-know-what part interfere with the story, in your opinion? Was it even necessary?

Jen K said...

I really enjoyed this novel, but it definitely made me think of The Blind Assassin and The Thirteenth Tale (which aren't bad things to be reminded of). I haven't gotten around to any of her other ones yet.

Kristin Dodge said...

I've missed you, Jen K! Still our undercover leader for justice, reading whenever a mission allows?