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Jo6353
Posts: 683
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author



zooey183 wrote:
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.


I'm finding the book to be somewhat reminiscent of The Great Gatsby.
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author



zooey183 wrote:
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.




Oh! yes! I agree with you, wholeheartedly.
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author



Jo6353 wrote:


zooey183 wrote:
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.


I'm finding the book to be somewhat reminiscent of The Great Gatsby.




You know Jo, I have to friendly disagree with you. I think the Great Gatsby was bitter all the way. To me, nothing ever went right, but in Riverton, Grace had a few years of happiness with Alfred plus with her daughter and grandson. But this is only my opinion, we all do not think alot.
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author


kiakar wrote:


Jo6353 wrote:


zooey183 wrote:
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.


I'm finding the book to be somewhat reminiscent of The Great Gatsby.




You know Jo, I have to friendly disagree with you. I think the Great Gatsby was bitter all the way. To me, nothing ever went right, but in Riverton, Grace had a few years of happiness with Alfred plus with her daughter and grandson. But this is only my opinion, we all do not think alot.


Funny cause it reminded me at times of The Great Gatsby too. As far as anything going right. I at least liked Gatsby and there was a love that just wasnt going to happen for them, and she was selfish, selfish about Gatsby, her parties, her affair right under her husbands nose and she actually did kill someone and hid it and let Gatsby take the blame. I can see a lot of Hannah here, tho she did not hide that she killed someone. Ultimately both male lovers die because these woman go about their lives in a fantasy of desires with no responsibilities. I would even equate Grace with the billboard of the eyeglasses, always seeing, always watching but really just standing back. So we get what, a few pages at the end, of, and they all lived happily ever after by the way? That whole story was left out and as some of us have said, it felt like a bone had been thrown to those of us wanting some kind of romantic redemption in this dark story. I don't see Grace as a sympathetic heroine either. I dont think heroine applies, she is just the protagonist through whose eyes we see the story unfold but hardly a heroine and loses her sympathetic qualities the further you go along, until the end bone of course. Interesting. Interesting to think of the plot of a book to be secondary to its framing too. hmm.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: About the Book and Author

i think you picked a great moniker for me...twj it will be. thank you for the encouragement. i am still learning my way around the block on unsteady feet.
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author



vivico1 wrote:

kiakar wrote:


Jo6353 wrote:


zooey183 wrote:
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.


I'm finding the book to be somewhat reminiscent of The Great Gatsby.




You know Jo, I have to friendly disagree with you. I think the Great Gatsby was bitter all the way. To me, nothing ever went right, but in Riverton, Grace had a few years of happiness with Alfred plus with her daughter and grandson. But this is only my opinion, we all do not think alot.


Funny cause it reminded me at times of The Great Gatsby too. As far as anything going right. I at least liked Gatsby and there was a love that just wasnt going to happen for them, and she was selfish, selfish about Gatsby, her parties, her affair right under her husbands nose and she actually did kill someone and hid it and let Gatsby take the blame. I can see a lot of Hannah here, tho she did not hide that she killed someone. Ultimately both male lovers die because these woman go about their lives in a fantasy of desires with no responsibilities. I would even equate Grace with the billboard of the eyeglasses, always seeing, always watching but really just standing back. So we get what, a few pages at the end, of, and they all lived happily ever after by the way? That whole story was left out and as some of us have said, it felt like a bone had been thrown to those of us wanting some kind of romantic redemption in this dark story. I don't see Grace as a sympathetic heroine either. I dont think heroine applies, she is just the protagonist through whose eyes we see the story unfold but hardly a heroine and loses her sympathetic qualities the further you go along, until the end bone of course. Interesting. Interesting to think of the plot of a book to be secondary to its framing too. hmm.





Vivian, even though I thought Gatsby was bitter all the way through, it is still one of my favorite books.
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author/ possible spoiler


kiakar wrote:


vivico1 wrote:

kiakar wrote:


Jo6353 wrote:


zooey183 wrote:
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.


I'm finding the book to be somewhat reminiscent of The Great Gatsby.




You know Jo, I have to friendly disagree with you. I think the Great Gatsby was bitter all the way. To me, nothing ever went right, but in Riverton, Grace had a few years of happiness with Alfred plus with her daughter and grandson. But this is only my opinion, we all do not think alot.


Funny cause it reminded me at times of The Great Gatsby too. As far as anything going right. I at least liked Gatsby and there was a love that just wasnt going to happen for them, and she was selfish, selfish about Gatsby, her parties, her affair right under her husbands nose and she actually did kill someone and hid it and let Gatsby take the blame. I can see a lot of Hannah here, tho she did not hide that she killed someone. Ultimately both male lovers die because these woman go about their lives in a fantasy of desires with no responsibilities. I would even equate Grace with the billboard of the eyeglasses, always seeing, always watching but really just standing back. So we get what, a few pages at the end, of, and they all lived happily ever after by the way? That whole story was left out and as some of us have said, it felt like a bone had been thrown to those of us wanting some kind of romantic redemption in this dark story. I don't see Grace as a sympathetic heroine either. I dont think heroine applies, she is just the protagonist through whose eyes we see the story unfold but hardly a heroine and loses her sympathetic qualities the further you go along, until the end bone of course. Interesting. Interesting to think of the plot of a book to be secondary to its framing too. hmm.





Vivian, even though I thought Gatsby was bitter all the way through, it is still one of my favorite books.


**possible spoiler**
Yeah, I found more mystery and a diversity of characters in the Great Gatsby than in this depressing book of one dimensional characters. No one and nothing, was a surprise. Her characters remind me, well hey remember that first book by Aryn? The Horse book? We enjoyed the story line but everyone was depressing and in the end, we are just told she comes back to see everything but we dont know what happened to her between then, is she as depressed, is she happy, all that stuff? And said we liked the book but the ending was horrible. Well, here she keeps telling you all the answers and then coming back to explain them, no twists, no surprises and after all that depressing stuff you read for 450 she throws us a bone, as someone said? nahhh. I really liked the Great Gatsby too Kiakar, and part of what I said was about the comment before yours on the same post. I loved the movie, I loved Robert Redford at that time woohoo lol. That book was a classic and the symbolism of those glasses in the book wow. I think if Morton will stop giving away her own answers outright and lead us to try to figure them out, tighten up her stories some, they would be much more entertaining and a real "couldnt put it down" book. A lot of people are still working on it now.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
dg
Frequent Contributor
dg
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎10-13-2007
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Re: About the Book and Author

Thanks. No idea why I didn't think of that before. A web site would certainly list her books.
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Teapharm03
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎12-22-2007
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Re: About the Book and Author

I found this book to be to my liking. I was a history major in college so going back in time to Riverton heyday was very enjoyable.I liked the way the author's writes. Her writing style attracted my interest to the storyline from the beginning and maintain it throughout. I would recommend this book to my friends and in fact I have. I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Teapharmo3
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Jo6353
Posts: 683
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author



kiakar wrote:


Jo6353 wrote:


zooey183 wrote:
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.


I'm finding the book to be somewhat reminiscent of The Great Gatsby.




You know Jo, I have to friendly disagree with you. I think the Great Gatsby was bitter all the way. To me, nothing ever went right, but in Riverton, Grace had a few years of happiness with Alfred plus with her daughter and grandson. But this is only my opinion, we all do not think alot.


I don't disagree with you, however, my Gatsby feelings come from the decadent parties and lifestyles of some of the characters and Robbie's spiral into insanity and depression. Jo
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zooey183
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎05-24-2007
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masterpeice theater

i think this story would be a great masterpiece theater type of production. sort of gosford parkish.
Reader
Meredithk1981
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-11-2007
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Re: About the Book and Author

I too enjoyed the book, although it was slow going in the beginning. However, once it got going it flowed much smoother. The time jumps were a little awkward at first (similar to "The TimeKeeper's Wife") but I think Morton did a nice job of creating fluidity towards the end.

*Possible Spolier*
I think what would have been really helpful was a family tree of the family from when Grace started working at the house as a young girl. There were so many characters that I got caught up in, and the ones that lingered through the book (other than the main characters) grew in signifcance, but by the time I recognized them later on, I couldn't remember their connection to the family. Somewhat of a general guide would be helpful when starting out. There are obvious reasons why the entire family tree can't be shown (it would ruin the story!), but I would've felt more attached to the family if I had a better sense of all of their connections from the start.

Other than that, I think it was a wonderful read. It was very Gatsby as some people have said (although I agree it had more of a light hearted edge than Gatsby; and I wonder if the fact that Fitzgerald was basically writing autobiographically about a trying time in his life, versus Morton looking back in time, had anything to do with the tone of Gatsby). It was also very Jane Austen-ish, clearly less formal due to the time the story was set in, but some similarities nonetheless. I hope it has a successful debut in the US as it deserves!

Meredith
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Reshan
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-24-2007
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Re: About the Book and Author

I truly enjoyed "The House at Riverton." As a history teacher, I enjoyed the references to real historical events. I liked the character of Grace most of all. We should all be so fortunate to have a friend that was willing to keep such an important secret all her life. Let me ask a question to make sure I understand, Grace intended for her grandson to write the story of what happened at Riverton, correct?
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Amanda-Louise
Posts: 156
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author



Reshan wrote:
Let me ask a question to make sure I understand, Grace intended for her grandson to write the story of what happened at Riverton, correct?




Hi!

I also enjoyed this book very much. I understood that Grace intended for Marcus to make a book out of her experience. She saved it for him as one final gift, I felt. Marcus was struggling with 'writer's block' and she felt this would get him back on track.

Amanda
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
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Re: About the Book and Author


Amanda-Louise wrote:


Reshan wrote:
Let me ask a question to make sure I understand, Grace intended for her grandson to write the story of what happened at Riverton, correct?




Hi!

I also enjoyed this book very much. I understood that Grace intended for Marcus to make a book out of her experience. She saved it for him as one final gift, I felt. Marcus was struggling with 'writer's block' and she felt this would get him back on track.

Amanda


mm, I think this was more than just a gift to help him over writers block. Doesn't seem something one would do, keep a secret for 80 years and of all the times and people you could have told the true to, give it up to a grandson with writer's block. I think it was more a woman, who was fading and knew it and needed it all out, to someone,someone she felt wouldn't judge her by it but maybe even feel closer to her for the sharing. It's funny the things older people will share with you the closer they get to death, almost like a confession, looking for absolution, letting go of life but also all those secrets it contained that were burdensome. And at the same time trying to pull people together, like Grace does with Marcus and his mother, in the FEW pages of someone thinking outside themselves.
My mother is still alive and every few years, I hear something new that directly involves my life and I think I am always more upset that she waited so long to tell me rather than by what she tells me. I learned at 15 my father wasnt my father, got to meet my real father at 16, he was great, I wished he would have lived longer. I found out at 48 that my mother had had a miscarriage when I was young, a little girl. I would have loved a baby sister. Why she waited till she was 76 to tell me, I havent a clue cause it didnt see to bother her, just one of those things. Odd. Anyway, I think in those few pages, Grace is cleaning house too and hoping to help the family left behind have a sense of who they are and who she really was, which we have debated a lot about her character, but there it is anyway, laid at the feet of Marcus, burden unloaded.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Amanda-Louise
Posts: 156
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author

I agree, perhaps a gift was too soft a word? Or perhaps a gift to herself, getting it out?

However I do think she told Marcus with the intent that he would do something with it.

I can relate about things coming out when adults get older. For example, my grandmother is 92 and she'll casually say things about the past that should have been given more though befor being put into words - eek!

Amanda
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author


Amanda-Louise wrote:
I agree, perhaps a gift was too soft a word? Or perhaps a gift to herself, getting it out?

However I do think she told Marcus with the intent that he would do something with it.

I can relate about things coming out when adults get older. For example, my grandmother is 92 and she'll casually say things about the past that should have been given more though befor being put into words - eek!

Amanda


Yeah, I think it was a gift to herself too. That letting it all out. And yes, I think she was ok with Marcus writing it and probably gave it to him to write for a couple of reasons, those I mentioned out of her love for him and also, seems people had been writing about this for some time and making this movie and she says they all get it wrong. Maybe she trusted Marcus to write it as she told it, in her truth, whether it all was or not, he would do that for her.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Inspired Correspondent
Amanda-Louise
Posts: 156
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author

Definitely - I think trust is definitely the word to use. Would you agree that the unrealized lack of trust was a theme in the book? So, having little to trust or rely on in her life when we knew Grace, she certainly feels she can trust Marcus with her story.

Would be interesting to read Marcus' biography - particularly if it contained her life after Riverton.

Amanda
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author/ possible spoiler***

[ Edited ]

Amanda-Louise wrote:
Definitely - I think trust is definitely the word to use. Would you agree that the unrealized lack of trust was a theme in the book? So, having little to trust or rely on in her life when we knew Grace, she certainly feels she can trust Marcus with her story.

Would be interesting to read Marcus' biography - particularly if it contained her life after Riverton.

Amanda


Well, see here is a problem for me with the story. I really never learned enough about Grace aside from what she does, to know who she is. She may be present throughout the book, but she is not a well developed character. It made me not really care what happens to her because she really isnt much more than the person observing the story for us. She stands back from life. Some of it, of course is because she is the maid and "its not her place", but think of her interactions with those who are. She watches, listens, basically eaves drops on anything that will give her more of what she wants about Hannah. She and her mother, nothing much there to learn about her, other than again, she would rather be back where Hannah is. Her and her daughter, well you know that story. And I could kick her over Alfred and still say SHE is the lucky one he still wanted her after kicking him to the curb so many times, not he was lucky she still wanted him. If you think about it, shes not really a sympathetic person, she does what she does because she wants what she wants, pretty much like Hannah does. As for trust, I think its more important for Grace to feel and be trusted so she can get what she wants and where she wants, than any problem of trusting others. I don't think that plays into this story. Maybe even in that she needs redemption and if so then you have made me think of an interesting question. If she gives this to Marcus because she trusts him and trusts he will write it "her way", then is she still doing things based on her desires and she needs someone who will trust her, to give it to or has she finally, in looking for some kind of redemption on this issue too, broken down and had to trust in someone herself? If she does, is it out of love or out of a final necessity to fulfill this last desire about herself, her story?

Message Edited by vivico1 on 01-27-2008 05:43 PM
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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gmfuhlman
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: About the Book and Author

I agree with you it was a great story. The family tree would have been great. I really did enjoyed the book. Kate Morton, wrote a very good book I would like to read more of her books.
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