01-13-2008 07:59 PM - edited 01-13-2008 08:08 PM
Message Edited by Popper19 on 01-13-2008 08:08 PM
01-13-2008 10:24 PM - edited 01-13-2008 10:27 PM
Other books I recommend would be "Daughter of the Stars" and "The Thirteenth Tale" Both contain wonderful mysteries that leave you with the same sense as the end of this one.
Message Edited by hpthatbme on 01-13-2008 10:27 PM
01-14-2008 01:21 PM - edited 01-14-2008 01:42 PM
I give this book four stars. "The House at Riverton" is an engrossing novel full of secrets and mystery. I would call it unputdownable. The secrets which make it interesting and complex also move this novel along in a fast paced manner. I will continue to think about it for a long time.
Other books that I would recommend are "Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier and "The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield.
Message Edited by CAG on 01-14-2008 10:42 AM
01-14-2008 05:00 PM
01-14-2008 10:15 PM
Kate Morton's "The House at Riverton" is a spell-binding mystery which delves into the complexities of love, duty, and sense of obligation felt by those living during and after World War One. Just as the 1920's were a period of transition and change, so are the lives of the main characters Grace, the housemaid to Hannah and Emmaline, sister's whose lives will be forever changed by the inexplicable chain of events set in motion by white lies and childhood games.
Riverton is a page turner, ensuring that you are left guessing as to the final events of the book until the very last page. Kate Morton masterfully takes the reader through the shifting fog surrounding the lives of three women until, at last, the fog clears and the final outcome is revealed.
Other books I would recommend: One Big Damn Puzzler by John Harding; The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett; March by Geraldine Brooks
01-16-2008 07:26 AM - edited 01-16-2008 07:28 AM
A secret is defined as something kept from knowledge or view. There are many such hidden truths and subterfuges in this novel as there are characters. Each secret sometimes inhibits the characters from being able to move forward in their lives because of the fall-out from their most hidden thoughts, wishes, desires. Deception, white lies, hidden agendas are all tucked away in the walls of this great house called "Riverton" creating distance and mistrust between the characters. The reader enters the world of what life might be like at a 300 year old English manner where misunderstandings and secret agendas have the potential to result in tragedies or intrigue. What a high price this house pays for untruths, deceptions and cunning. Duty, responsibility, commitment, love, family ties, virtue, devotion and respect are values examined whether exhibiting the best in human nature as is often the case or the complete opposite.
Our narrator is Grace Bradley who is 98 years old when the novel opens and it is her narration of the novel that initiates us to a page turning adventure which takes us on a journey throughout almost a century in English history. The reader learns what it was like to be in service to a wealthy family and what it takes to break away and strike out on one's own. Nothing is easy for anyone during the war and the aftermath sends its shockwaves throughout all of the families and countryside. Nobody escaped the war or its impact. All of England was affected. However, Grace only being 14 when she enters service in the Hartford home, has to conquer her own misgivings in order to grow and develop into the caring and accomplished woman that she is to become.
The reader also gets to know the Hartford and the Luxton families and grows to foster feelings of sympathetic understanding or contempt as the novel unfolds.
The novel was a page turner. It kept me engrossed, entertained and guessing until the very end. I would recommend The House of Riverton to anyone who likes historical novels, especially those set in the British Empire.
The author Kate Morton also recommends other books where there is "the haunting of the present by the past" or as Kate puts it "the insistence of family secrets. A couple of these are THE CHATHAM SCHOOL AFFAIR by Thomas H. Cook and POSSESSION by A.S Byatt.
Message Edited by bentley on 01-16-2008 07:28 AM
01-16-2008 03:41 PM
The House at Riverton was an amazing book to read. The book is written from the viewpoint of the memories of a 98-year-old woman named, Grace. Starting from a 14-year-old maid, we see how her life progresses and how the people around her effect her life (and theirs). I enjoyed the flashing back and forth between real time and the past, which pulls you in to her world and doesn't let you put the book down until you come to the last page. Kate Morton, the author, adds together great historical data from the early 1900's, romance and mystery to make a book that will grab hold of all kinds of readers.
01-16-2008 07:54 PM
01-17-2008 11:46 AM
The House at Riverton was fluid and engrossing. While the themes of the book are not new (an elderly person reflecting on a mistake in their past, the never ending debate of whose life is more limited: the rich or the poor), the book retains a quality that makes you want to keep reading. The main characters are well developed - the reader quite easily finds themselves lost in the story. The plot is predictable, and at many points lacks creativity, but the book is fun to read nonetheless. Take it with you next time you're going on vacation and just want to escape the real world for a while.
As a side note, those of us who aren't as sharp on our WWI history could have used more explanation of a some details in the story. I had to look up a number of them.
01-17-2008 02:17 PM
01-17-2008 02:32 PM
01-17-2008 02:50 PM
Great story! A real page turner! I like Ms. Morton's style of writing. I am looking forward to her next book.
I will be recommending this book at my next book club meeting.
01-17-2008 05:32 PM
engages from the beginning!
the house at riverton pulls you into the story from the very first page. i love the flow back & forth from past to present in the telling of the story. i really enjoyed having the novel told from the point of view of an elderly grace reflecting back on her young years. it was amazing to see how the world had changed during her lifetime. the lines blurring between the "upstairs/downstairs" life of the house was an interesting thread. there are many mysteries throughout this novel. some are easier to figure out than others. you will be kept guessing until the very end which does not disappoint. this was a quick read for me since i had to find out what happened all those years ago. happy reading.
books i rec:
emma by jane austen
pride & prejudice by jane austen
garden spells by sarah addison allen
the lord of the rings by tolkien
a visit to highbury/another view of emma by joan austen-leigh
the book thief by markus zusak
jane fairfax by joan aiken
fahrenheit 451 by ray bradbury
01-17-2008 08:26 PM
The little clues dispersed throughout the chapters helped to engage the reader in solving the mysteries while being immersed in the lives of the characters. I loved the way the main character describes the lives of all the other characters through her own eyes. I also loved the stark contrast between the different classes. It was a glimpse into the past and a reminder of how far we have come. There was a lesson built in to the novel about how even the smallest of lies can create mountains of devastation in the future. It also shows the devastating effects of secrets and manipulations and what happens when humans are stifled and unable to be who they really are. There is so much of that happening today and many people are suffering because of it. This book had many messages intertwined into the story line and it was truly enjoyable to read and VERY hard to put down. The author did an excellent job and I hope there will be a sequel! The book certainly left me wanting more.
01-17-2008 11:14 PM
01-18-2008 12:27 PM
01-18-2008 01:43 PM
Reading this book was like unravelling a ball of yarn; once you start, you cannot stop. The setting, the characters, and the attention to detail were fabulous.
Other good books are Fault Lines by Nancy Huston, and The Other Boleyn sister by Philippa Gregory.
01-18-2008 06:02 PM
The House at Riverton
Grace has led an amazingly full life. Born in 1900 she now looks back on over 90 years of life, love, death, loss, lies, choices, successes, and failures. The reminiscences begin with a letter asking her input on a movie being made about the family for whom she worked as a servant starting in 1914. Now at the end of her life, Grace is willing to tell the true story of the death of a young poet at the family estate in 1924. It is a story that has never been told, and Grace is the only person alive who knows the truth.
Kate Morton is a born storyteller, her characters are well thought out and the locales are vividly drawn. I couldn't wait to finish the book to figure out what really happened, and you won't really know the true story until the last chapter.
I highly recommend The House at Riverton by Kate Morton.
email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Other recently read books I would recommend include; Atonement, The Red Tent, P.S. I Love You, Stolen Lives, The Memory of Running, The Blessing Stone, A Blessed Event, But Inside I'm Screaming
01-18-2008 06:28 PM
You are given the essential pieces early in the book, you realize this and find yourself unable to stop turning the pages. Every page gets you closer to the answer. You find your feelings for the characters changing and you begin to consider a different ending. The novel takes you from past to present with several temporary loose ends that you will immediately try to tie up in your mind. The ending you create in your mind will change several times before you turn the last page. A great read that also brings a society's tolerance and change into consideration.
Recommended The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier and The Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
01-18-2008 07:15 PM