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Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: About the Book and Author (Potential Spoiler -- discussion of writing technique throughout HAR)


Susantx wrote: I agree. Am I the only one who is not thrilled with this book? Maybe this isn't the appropriate forum for it, but the writing style does not appeal to me in any way. I find the book has quite a heavy hand when it comes to foreshadowing, and frankly, put it down after a few chapters because I did not care about the characters. I'm disappointed. Is there a place to discuss this further?


Susan -- do come back and share your thoughts if you like. Given your comments about the characters, the character thread may be appropriate. I have found a lot here to both challenge and to reinforce my own initial reactions. The phrases versus sentences drove me batty, but Choisya was the one who forced me to ask if that was a technique to communicate advancing age. Later, I noticed comments that near the end the story became the clearest they had encountered, followed by others that noted the chaos near the end. I noticed the almost "life flashing by" aspect of the last chapter. Was that technique for effect, describing what hospice caregivers see again and again? Or shouldn't we give Ms. Morton that much credit?

Enjoy the discussions, Susan, and do challenge us! Pepper
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
New User
ncmama3
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-17-2007
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Re: About the Book and Author

When I signed up I was very excited to get a chance to read The House at Riverton with the First Look Book Club. When the book came I felt bad because I just could not get far enough into it without having to put it down as I just couldn't get into the story. Part of that being some of the "British Slang" for lack of a better word. I know that is part of Grace but maybe for a release in America some of that could have been eliminated. However I am now feverishly reading away in suspense yet not wanting the story to end:smileysurprised:)
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: About the Book and Author


ncmama3 wrote:
When I signed up I was very excited to get a chance to read The House at Riverton with the First Look Book Club. When the book came I felt bad because I just could not get far enough into it without having to put it down as I just couldn't get into the story. Part of that being some of the "British Slang" for lack of a better word. I know that is part of Grace but maybe for a release in America some of that could have been eliminated. However I am now feverishly reading away in suspense yet not wanting the story to end:smileysurprised:)

NC Mama -- I'm curious -- what "British Slang" left you cold. (For a number of us, we enjoyed it and were glad that it wasn't changed for the American printing, although we had been guessing whether or not it would be before we received the ARCs. We even had a discussion about whether there may be some Australian slang that should be footnoted, since we weren't sure whether we recognized it or not.) We all come to reading a book like HAR from such different expectations, that it is truly fun when someone like yourself is willing to articulate a viewpoint that "swims against the tide or upriver." Besides the "what," I would enjoy hearing a bit of the "why" for you, although you may have indicated some of that with your statement "I just couldn't get into the story." But take us a step deeper if you can? And if I am not being too impertinent in asking.
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Frequent Contributor
Readingrat
Posts: 72
Registered: ‎09-26-2007
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Re: About the Book and Author

I'm just starting into this book. I'm about 100 pages in and I'm really enjoying it so far. I like the characters and I love the writing. This is my first time in a B&N book club and I was a little amazed by how many messages I have to catch up on. Right now I'm trying to get caught up without reading anything that might give future events in the story away before I get there. :smileytongue:
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lldavids44
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author

I feel pretty much the same as you two, I think. Something that was supposed to be a secret was too obvious, foreshadowing was heavy-handed, there was little emotion but much melodrama. I usually love this type of book but was disappointed with this one.
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author


lldavids44 wrote:
I feel pretty much the same as you two, I think. Something that was supposed to be a secret was too obvious, foreshadowing was heavy-handed, there was little emotion but much melodrama. I usually love this type of book but was disappointed with this one.


Thats a good word for it! Melodrama~! Cause it not like any of the mystery/suspense books I have started liking and collecting. I knew everything that was going to happen in this book but one thing at the end and by then, I was bored by the people and how much stuff you had to muddle through to get to them.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Contributor
RachelAnn
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author

I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the telling by Grace and felt it was so important for her to finish her story. I wanted to finish it all in one night, but felt it was so important to let Grace tell it in her own time as well. I let her do so. These characters felt alive to me. I enjoyed the story very much and was crying by the end. Granted I am a little more emotional! The last few pages just hit a nerve seeing how everything came together to cause one tragic event.
Reading to a child is the most important thing anyone can ever do!
Inspired Contributor
Jo6353
Posts: 683
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author



vivico1 wrote:

lldavids44 wrote:
I feel pretty much the same as you two, I think. Something that was supposed to be a secret was too obvious, foreshadowing was heavy-handed, there was little emotion but much melodrama. I usually love this type of book but was disappointed with this one.


Thats a good word for it! Melodrama~! Cause it not like any of the mystery/suspense books I have started liking and collecting. I knew everything that was going to happen in this book but one thing at the end and by then, I was bored by the people and how much stuff you had to muddle through to get to them.


I wouldn't say that I'm bored by the people but I usually find one character that I completely connect with but so far I haven't made that connection. But I am enjoying the book. Jo
Inspired Correspondent
Maria_H
Posts: 791
Registered: ‎07-19-2007
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Re: About the Book and Author



RachelAnn wrote:
I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the telling by Grace and felt it was so important for her to finish her story. I wanted to finish it all in one night, but felt it was so important to let Grace tell it in her own time as well. I let her do so. These characters felt alive to me. I enjoyed the story very much and was crying by the end. Granted I am a little more emotional! The last few pages just hit a nerve seeing how everything came together to cause one tragic event.




RachelAnn, we're so glad to see that you and other readers are enjoying the book! Hope you are all enjoying our discussion, too!


Looking for a discussion? Find a Book Club for all your interests!


New User
2roadsdiverged
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-16-2007
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Re: About the Book and Author

What an intriguing story! I found it very difficult to put the book down and hurried back to it as quickly as possible. This surprised me as I don't usually select novels from the early 20th century (or before) and I tend to choose novels located in USA vs Europe. That suggests what a great, thought-provoking book "The House at Riverton" is. Kate Morton is a very talented writer and I found myself looking for other books by her - alas, this is her first but I eagerly await future novels. Grace is a likeable and admirable character who displays compassion, independence, and patience. Her relationships with her mother, the other servants in the House at Riverton, the Hartfords, Sylvia, Ursula, Ruth, and the elusive Marcus, among others, are all respectful and so well described the reader can truly "get lost" in the story. Even the ending, which I won't reveal, was unpredictable.
Thanks for the opportunity to read the advance copy. I highly recommend this book!
Inspired Correspondent
Amanda-Louise
Posts: 156
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author

I'll start by saying that I really enjoyed this book.

However, for me, the first 95% plodded along with the momentum coming in the last bit, but that part was an amazing ride.

I somehow don't mean plodding in a negative way. It was a wonderful painting of characters and scenes, trying to build up the history behind the event. I also enjoyed reading from a historical standpoint. It was a masterful telling of the upstairs/downstairs relationship.

I am pleased to recommend this book to friends and family!

Amanda
Author
KateMorton
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎01-06-2008
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Re: About the Book and Author

Hi everyone,
I only just discovered this thread and wanted to say 'hello' and thank you for your kind words! I'm very glad that so many people enjoyed reading Grace's story: when I was writing THatR, my dearest wish was that it might be the sort of book that people couldn't put down but didn't want to finish (they're my favourite kind!), so it's extremely gratifying to discover that so many of you felt that way. This is a terrific forum: I love that it brings readers together, no matter their differing opinions, to discuss books! I've been spending most of my on-line time in the 'Questions for the Author' thread, so if you have any questions or comments for me please feel free to jump across.
Thanks again, and happy reading,
Kate


Learn more about The House at Riverton.
Inspired Correspondent
Maria_H
Posts: 791
Registered: ‎07-19-2007
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Re: About the Book and Author


2roadsdiverged wrote:
What an intriguing story! I found it very difficult to put the book down and hurried back to it as quickly as possible. This surprised me as I don't usually select novels from the early 20th century (or before) and I tend to choose novels located in USA vs Europe. That suggests what a great, thought-provoking book "The House at Riverton" is. Kate Morton is a very talented writer and I found myself looking for other books by her - alas, this is her first but I eagerly await future novels. Grace is a likeable and admirable character who displays compassion, independence, and patience. Her relationships with her mother, the other servants in the House at Riverton, the Hartfords, Sylvia, Ursula, Ruth, and the elusive Marcus, among others, are all respectful and so well described the reader can truly "get lost" in the story. Even the ending, which I won't reveal, was unpredictable.
Thanks for the opportunity to read the advance copy. I highly recommend this book!


That is quite a review! I encourage you and other readers to go to our review thread and post your review for the book there. We'll collect these reviews and add them to the book's product page.

And for those who wish to ask a question or make a comment to Kate, go to this thread.

See you there!


Looking for a discussion? Find a Book Club for all your interests!


Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: About the Book and Author

I received the book late and had a house full of company and commitments when it arrived. I have only just begun to read the book but I am enjoying it immensely. It is written beautifully, so far, and has immediately drawn me into the world of The House of Rivington. I hate to put it down and have a feeling that when I finish it I will feel as if I have lost a friend!
Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: About the Book and Author

whoops, my face is red. rivington street was where my dad's family came from and i made a freudian slip, i meant the house at riverton.
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Jo6353
Posts: 683
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author



thewanderingjew wrote:
whoops, my face is red. rivington street was where my dad's family came from and i made a freudian slip, i meant the house at riverton.


LOL! I didn't even notice. I automatically read Riverton.
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: About the Book and Author


thewanderingjew wrote: whoops, my face is red. rivington street was where my dad's family came from and i made a freudian slip, i meant the house at riverton.

TWJ -- First, what do you prefer we call you on these boards? Your entire moniker is a little long for frequent interactions, but we will use it, if that is your choice.

Second, as another colleague has said, no need for a red face! Many of us slip up in a way we would rather not have done so, especially in the early days, but along the way, too!

Third, the way you corrected yourself is just fine. However, there is an edit function that you should know about, if you don't already. For about 90 minutes after you post a message, you can click on Options in the upper right corner of the entry and select the "Edit" option to modify your post.

Finally -- welcome! We look forward to your comments on HAR.

Pepper (early on I was informed "Peppermill" was too long -- politely informed.)
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Frequent Contributor
jmcnaughton
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author

I've finished the book and am now trudging through the 3000+ messages here since the last time I looked...

I enjoyed the book, but I certainly wouldn't call it wonderful or that I couldn't put it down - I did. I kept reading it to see if it would end the way I thought it would. With a few exceptions, it did.

I felt there was so much detail at the beginning (I was almost bored), then it just sort of ended, like the author ran out of time. I would have liked to know more about Grace after Robbie's death besides just the quick comments here and there. What happened with Marcus' wife? I just felt there were so many loose ends...

So, on a scale of 1-10, I'd give it a five.
Contributor
zooey183
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎05-24-2007
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Re: About the Book and Author

i think a lot of people are not appreciating the historical context and background of this book. it is an excellent period piece, and the pace and restraint are evocative of the times about which it is written. i think the main theme of the story is the change that occured in the world during the time covered, and the plot is secondary to that message. i found reading it very easy and enjoyable. i think kate morton is an excellent writer, and i found grace to be a very sympathetic heroine. i was very happy she found some happiness in the end, even though, realistically, it was bittersweet.
Inspired Contributor
Jo6353
Posts: 683
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author



jmcnaughton wrote:
I've finished the book and am now trudging through the 3000+ messages here since the last time I looked...

I enjoyed the book, but I certainly wouldn't call it wonderful or that I couldn't put it down - I did. I kept reading it to see if it would end the way I thought it would. With a few exceptions, it did.

I felt there was so much detail at the beginning (I was almost bored), then it just sort of ended, like the author ran out of time. I would have liked to know more about Grace after Robbie's death besides just the quick comments here and there. What happened with Marcus' wife? I just felt there were so many loose ends...

So, on a scale of 1-10, I'd give it a five.


Robbie dies?
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