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KxBurns
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Parallels with Other Works

If you'd like to flesh out and discuss your thoughts on the similarities and differences between The House at Riverton and some other works, please do so here!

Some of the works that have been mentioned so far are:
- Rebecca
- Jane Eyre (which heavily influences Rebecca, I think)
- Upstairs, Downstairs
- Titanic
What are some others?

I'll repeat myself from the Grace & Ruth thread re: spoilers:
As far as spoilers go, I ask that you keep pace with the other threads. For example, if a thread for a given chapter has been posted, then that chapter is fair game to discuss here. If you're venturing further ahead than that, please preface your comments with the word SPOILER. However, since this theme is book-encompassing, I would tread carefully here if you're overly concerned about reading spoilers.
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bookhunter
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Re: Parallels with Other Works


KxBurns wrote:
If you'd like to flesh out and discuss your thoughts on the similarities and differences between The House at Riverton and some other works, please do so here!

Some of the works that have been mentioned so far are:
- Rebecca
- Jane Eyre (which heavily influences Rebecca, I think)
- Upstairs, Downstairs
- Titanic
What are some others?

I'll repeat myself from the Grace & Ruth thread re: spoilers:
As far as spoilers go, I ask that you keep pace with the other threads. For example, if a thread for a given chapter has been posted, then that chapter is fair game to discuss here. If you're venturing further ahead than that, please preface your comments with the word SPOILER. However, since this theme is book-encompassing, I would tread carefully here if you're overly concerned about reading spoilers.




The frame technique of an older person telling an event (with an unrevealed secret) from their youth also reminds me of _Water for Elephants_ that I just read. I have to say, so far, old Jacob has a lot more spunk that dear Grace!

And...large cast of characters, mother/daughter tensions, unknown father, secrets to be revealed, main character with a doctoral degree (not mentioning a spoiler!), the setting itself as a character in the book...

Is this to be the pattern for all First Look books?! :smileyhappy:

Ann, bookhunter
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paula_02912
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Re: Parallels with Other Works

Karen, I think that Wuthering Heights and some of Austen's works: Sense and Sensibility as well as Pride and Prejudice...would be ones that Riverton shows some parallels with...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

Author Unknown
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rkreilly
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Re: Parallels with Other Works

And most definitely The Thirteenth Tale
-- sisters (coincidentally, Emmeline in both)
-- the house being a character in it's own
-- elderly/caretaker relationship
-- untold secrets
-- and those secrets haunting late in life, the need to tell it
-- and personally, I just love my vision of the library in both houses- how I long for a room like that of my own! (thought drowning in books, hoping my husband will soon give in and see the need for that also!)
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cookieknits
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Re: Parallels with Other Works



KxBurns wrote:
If you'd like to flesh out and discuss your thoughts on the similarities and differences between The House at Riverton and some other works, please do so here!

Some of the works that have been mentioned so far are:
- Rebecca
- Jane Eyre (which heavily influences Rebecca, I think)
- Upstairs, Downstairs
- Titanic
What are some others?

I'll repeat myself from the Grace & Ruth thread re: spoilers:
As far as spoilers go, I ask that you keep pace with the other threads. For example, if a thread for a given chapter has been posted, then that chapter is fair game to discuss here. If you're venturing further ahead than that, please preface your comments with the word SPOILER. However, since this theme is book-encompassing, I would tread carefully here if you're overly concerned about reading spoilers.





Since the author is Australian, can anyone think of any Australian works that may have influenced her? I don't see much of "The Thorn Birds", neither can I see "A Town Like Alice" and "My Brilliant Career". Those are the only Aussie books I can think of.
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cookieknits
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Re: Parallels with Other Works



rkreilly wrote:
And most definitely The Thirteenth Tale
-- sisters (coincidentally, Emmeline in both)
-- the house being a character in it's own
-- elderly/caretaker relationship
-- untold secrets
-- and those secrets haunting late in life, the need to tell




When I was a teenager I was very much into historical fiction. I loved the books of the late Norah Lofts. She often would tell the story of a house or building, following its residents for hundreds of years, from its constructions in the middle ages to present times. "The House at Riverton" tells only the story of one small period of time, but it does remind me a bit of Ms. Lofts writing in that way. (However, Ms. Loft did not use foreshadowing. Very often a character you came to love would suddenly die without much warning.)
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bookhunter
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Re: Parallels with Other Works



cookieknits wrote:
When I was a teenager I was very much into historical fiction. I loved the books of the late Norah Lofts. She often would tell the story of a house or building, following its residents for hundreds of years, from its constructions in the middle ages to present times. "The House at Riverton" tells only the story of one small period of time, but it does remind me a bit of Ms. Lofts writing in that way. (However, Ms. Loft did not use foreshadowing. Very often a character you came to love would suddenly die without much warning.)




I haven't read any of her books, but a quick search brought up some interesting titles. Which was your favorite? And you read these as a teen? So you think they are ok for younger folks? (Well, I gave my 18 yo daughter Pillars of the Earth to read--with plenty of warning an judgements on my part!)

Ann, bookhunter
who is up late with a migraine and burning up these boards. sorry if you all are getting tired of reading my posts!
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jillc3610
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Registered: ‎12-22-2007
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Re: Parallels with Other Works

This book reminded me of The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher. It's an old book that was very popular when it was released and has remained a favorite for many people. It's been many years since I've read it, but the narrator is a woman looking back over the years with mysteries woven into the plot. They did make a movie of the book starring Angela Lansbury.
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cookieknits
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Re: Parallels with Other Works



bookhunter wrote:


cookieknits wrote:
When I was a teenager I was very much into historical fiction. I loved the books of the late Norah Lofts. She often would tell the story of a house or building, following its residents for hundreds of years, from its constructions in the middle ages to present times. "The House at Riverton" tells only the story of one small period of time, but it does remind me a bit of Ms. Lofts writing in that way. (However, Ms. Loft did not use foreshadowing. Very often a character you came to love would suddenly die without much warning.)




I haven't read any of her books, but a quick search brought up some interesting titles. Which was your favorite? And you read these as a teen? So you think they are ok for younger folks? (Well, I gave my 18 yo daughter Pillars of the Earth to read--with plenty of warning an judgements on my part!)

Ann, bookhunter
who is up late with a migraine and burning up these boards. sorry if you all are getting tired of reading my posts!




Among my favorites in the "house" genre were, "Bless this House" and "The House at Old Vine" and "The House at Sunset", the sequel to "The House at Old Vine".
They are OOP, so I have sent you a private message about a way you can get them.
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cookieknits
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Re: Parallels with Other Works

I have thought of another, unfortunately, also OOP that "The House At Riverton" reminds me of for some reason. Another author I loved when I was a teenager was R. F. Delderfield, who wrote sweeping panoramic novels about men, usually with some sort of military background, who changed their corner of Great Britain in some way, either great or small. One of these was "To Serve Them All My Days", about a young Welsh miner, who returns from WWI, shellshocked and very much changed. As near as I can remember, he goes to school, becomes a teacher, and ends up being the headmaster of that school.
So, there are som parallels with several characters in our book.
I am sorry to keep picking books that are no longer available to compare "The House.." with. Ms. Morton has written a type of book that isn't done very well these days, IMHO, and I can only harken back to the ancient 1960's and 1970's!
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ELee
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Re: Parallels with Other Works


jillc3610 wrote:
This book reminded me of The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher. It's an old book that was very popular when it was released and has remained a favorite for many people.



It's certainly one of mine. I think I've read most of the novels she wrote (as Rosamunde Pilcher). There is something about the atmosphere that she creates in each one that I find very appealing and her characters are easy for me to relate to. They are an uncomplicated by satisfying read.
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crazyasitsounds
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Re: Parallels with Other Works (SPOILERS)

I see a lot of parallels to Ian McEwan's Atonement (Apologies, but I have to post spoilers to explain them.):
- A younger sister who credits an older male friend with saving her life at a young age & becomes attracted to him. Later, her older sister becomes romantically involved with that male friend.
- A narrator who, at a young age, plays a central role in a family tragedy &, when older, tells someone about it in an attempt to absolve herself of the guilt she has carried around for her whole life.
- More generally, themes of class differences & the roles/jobs available to women in the first half of the 20th century.
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suetu
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Re: Parallels with Other Works

[ Edited ]
I have to admit that I also thought of Atonement (having just read it), simply because of the atmosphere of British wealth and privilege. And also because it dealt with war and its aftermath.

However, it also put me in mind of another book I haven't seen anyone else mention. And the two really aren't alike at all, but Arthur Philips The Egyptologist also featured a elderly character in a nursing home recounting a mystery from the past. Again, the two novels are completely different, and Philips narrator was far less reliable than Grace, but it's that feeling of inpatience as the story is being recounted. Wanting so badly to know what happened. I'm only on page 252, so I still want to know! :smileyhappy:

Message Edited by suetu on 01-07-2008 04:50 PM
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kiakar
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Re: Parallels with Other Works



ELee wrote:

jillc3610 wrote:
This book reminded me of The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher. It's an old book that was very popular when it was released and has remained a favorite for many people.



It's certainly one of mine. I think I've read most of the novels she wrote (as Rosamunde Pilcher). There is something about the atmosphere that she creates in each one that I find very appealing and her characters are easy for me to relate to. They are an uncomplicated by satisfying read.





Yes, I have read all of Rosamund Pitcher's books. She is from Scotland and had a contest to win a trip to Scotland. Of course I didn't win like I wanted but she was really my favorite of all my authors back then. I do not think she writes anymore. Her son writes, Robin Pitcher. His books are alright but there is a special quality that is not there in his as is in hers. And this does resemble some of the effects of The shell Seekers. That was a awesome great book.
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dhaupt
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Re: Parallels with Other Works

I have to agree with The Thirteenth Tale and Atonement were where I saw similarities.
the Thirteenth Tale because of the story teller retelling the story and Atonement because of the sisters and Manor life.
And don't hate me but I loved Riverton and did not like Atonement accolades or not.
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Oldesq
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Re: Parallels with Other Works

I also saw similarities with the Great Gatsby and some other work that I cannot remember that has a character just like Fanny (though I cannot recall which one). Some of the characters are right out of central casting and evoke a number of works- many of which have already been mentioned.

Oldesq.
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3M
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Re: Parallels with Other Works

She mentions The Chatham School Affair by Thomas H. Cook as being an inspiration for the book. It is one of my favorites. It's about a man looking back on his schooldays and the secrets he has kept over the years.
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goingeast
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Re: Parallels with Other Works

[ Edited ]
I have read the entire book and many parts and themes have reminded me of Gone With The Wind. Although, GWTW was a much better book, by far. When Hannah marries Teddy because of the freedom it may give her, it minds me of the husbands that Scarlett chose for purely selfish and financial reasons. In many ways, I could imagine Hannah saying, "fiddly-dee" herself. Scarlett had sisters who were resentful of her marriage choices as well. Also the house figures prominently in both books, as a place of inheritance and as a place to come back to. I don't think English aristocracy and Southern aristocracy were so different after all. As far as triangles are concerned, well, no matter who Scarlett was involved with there were always Ashley and Rhett somewhere close by. Now that was a great book!

Message Edited by goingeast on 01-09-2008 05:55 PM

Message Edited by goingeast on 01-09-2008 05:56 PM
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gl
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Re: Parallels with Other Works

I agree that the book is also somewhat reminiscent of the books by R.F. Delderfield. I just discovered him after watching the BBC series "To Serve Them All My Days", which was amazing. After which, I read the novel and as many of his novels that I could find at the NY Public Library. It has the same sense of place, period in time, and sympathetic characters.

I agree with the others the book is reminiscent of Rebecca as well and there is even a reference to Rebecca at the end of the book.
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bentley
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Re: Parallels with Other Works

[ Edited ]
THE HOUSE OF RIVERTON was often reminiscent of Alcott's writing and style. Little Women came to mind more than once. Though THR also deals with class struggles and is much like the BBC series which deal with the different parallel existences between what is going on downstairs versus upstairs; THR identifies the perils of daring to cross the line of what is expected of you within either realm. So many dreams and so many aspirations of what life is like or could be like in other situations and yearnings for independence whether you are from the entitled class or one that is not.

Little Women was different in a sense that it dealt with a family of young girls not one whose family included a brother; but the style and the intimacies and games shared just brought me back to Alcott and Jo's dreams.

I think that the story is absolutely terrific and has kept me engrossed. It is not a read which for me even comes close to Pulitzer material nor does it have the beautiful prose of let us say someone like Cormac McCarthy or even other British literary giants like Dickens or Austin even (though there are great prose moments); but a good story it is and a real page turner. It is like a soap opera: you just want to know what is going to happen next and why. I am in catch up mode since I got the book late and am almost done with Part Two and I am not bored yet. This would make a great series for television and a good movie. I was trying to think who might play the different parts.

Bentley

Message Edited by bentley on 01-11-2008 10:47 AM
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