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Paperback The House at Riverton Book

ISBN: 1416550534

ISBN13: 9781416550532

The House at Riverton

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

From the author of #1 international bestseller The Forgotten Garden and New York Times bestseller Homecoming comes a gorgeous novel set in England between World War I and World War II. Perfect for fans of Downton Abbey, it is the story of an aristocratic family, a house, a mysterious death and a way of life that vanished forever, told in flashback by a woman who witnessed it all and kept a secret for decades....

Customer Reviews

9 ratings

Very Believable

Wonderful period novel about secrets we might hold till our last breath, about friendship and love. Exceptionally well written and very believable.

Good book

Good read although it didn't hold my interest as much as other books.

Oh my God!

By now I have read all of her books, but this was the BEST ever. Amazing story with an even more amazing end! Loved it!


Great mystery and plot twist!! Kept my interest throughout the entire book.

great book

I loved this book. It was so good I couldn't put it down. But so far all of Kate Morton's books were great.

Upstairs/Downstairs Charm and Haunting Mystery Combine for Compelling Novel

It's hard to believe this magnificent novel is a first effort by Kate Morton. I will certainly be looking forward to her future work, as this is a well-crafted narrative that exposes a story from the past through the remembrances of ninety-eight-year-old Grace Bradley. A scandalous tragedy at a lavish English party in 1924 is about to be made into a movie and, as the last surviving person from the event, Grace is interviewed by a dedicated young filmmaker. The filmmaker wants to be clear on all details of a young poet's suicide and present an accurate portrayal. Only Grace knows that history in not correct and what everyone thinks happened did not happen at all. She has kept the secret for over 70 years and it has haunted her memory. Morton does a masterful job of taking the reader into the lives of the idle rich, the servants who are devoted to them, and the secret liaisons that connect the two classes in forbidden ways. The conflict between desire and possibility is played out generation after generation. The unreliability of accepted facts, the haunting of the present by the past, and the inescapability of inherited social standing determining one's fate all combine for a searing story I could not put down. The characters are wonderfully three-dimensional, the plot well-paced and highly believable, the explosive conclusion well worth the time invested. I cannot recommend this one highly enough and can only hope Kate Morton continues to gift us with her talent for storytelling.

I loved this book

In 1914, when she was 14, Grace came to Riverton Manor as a housemaid. There she met the Master's grandchildren, David, Hannah, and Emmeline, whose lives would forever be linked with her own. Now, at the age of 98, Grace looks back at those early years of duty and service, selflessness and silence, and narrates her story while there is still time. To give away more of the plot would be to rob other readers of the sublime delight I found in reading this book. It is told through the eyes of an old lady who has known great sorrow and some joys, who has seen Edwardian society give way to hard rock, and managed to adapt to it all with wisdom and humor. The story paints a vivid picture of life among the idle country rich before and after the first War, how carefree children became conflicted adults, and how passion erupted in gunfire amid the fireworks of a grand summer party. The author has written such a wonderful story and I loved being a part of it. I sobbed through the last chapters knowing the story had to end, knowing what that end would be. I could identify with young Grace as she stoically tended to her spoiled mistress and felt I was holding old Grace's hand as she lay in her bed at the nursing home. This book MUST be made into a movie - it is powerful, dramatic, and heartbreaking, equal parts of mystery, romance, and history - the best book I've read in years.


This book is a must read for lovers of historical novels and enthralling, well-written, atmospheric mysteries, The House at Riverton is a literary feast for those who love writers like Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan or Daphne DuMaurier and books reminiscent of The Forsythe Saga, Upstairs,Downstairs and Water for Elephants. In this page-turner of a novel, beautifully written and evocative of the era in England prior to and after World War 1, the author succeeds in weaving a complex tale of passion, jealousy and intrigue utilizing the past memories of 98 year old Grace Bradley and the secret she has jealously guarded for over 60 years. This jigsaw puzzle of a tale cleverly takes the various, seemingly insignificant, strands of Graces life and plaits them with the lives of other members of the Riverton household to form a lusterous braid with a couple of astonishing twists at its end. There is literally not a hair out of place in this fascinating journey through an era of crumbling social barriers and evolving English social morals and traditions. This book cries out to be made into a movie. As I read, I could visualize Kate Blanchett as Hannah, Judy Dench as old Grace, Kate Winslet as young grace, Gerard Butler as Alfred, Colin Firth as Frederick, Keira Knightly as Emmaline .....well you get the picture. (pun intended). I look forward with great anticipation to Kate Mortons next literary offering. In the meantime let me offer the following: "if you read only one book this year, make it this one!"

War and remembrance

"War makes history seem deceptively simple. They provide clear turning points, easy distinctions: before and after, winner and loser, right and wrong. True history, the past, is not like that. It isn't flat or linear. It has no outline. It is slippery, like liquid; infinite and unknowable, like space. And it is changeable: just when you think you see a pattern, perspective shifts, an alternative version is proffered...." The House at Riverton is a true historical novel, in all senses of the term. Told from the first person perspective of 98 year old Grace, the narrative alternates between present and past, the story flowing seamlessly from the recesses of her memory and more than 50 years of painful reflection. Riverton has many themes: the myriad damages wrought by war, the relentlessly impersonal evolution of society, the slippery intricacies of relationships, the crucial importance of self-actualization. It is mystery in reverse: from many clues, from the atmosphere of secrecy and suspense, we know with absolute certainty that something dreadful happens, but the exact nature of the tragedy becomes fully apparent only on the final page. Ms Morton's characters, Grace, the sisters, the men in their lives, the servants, are genuine and vibrant, real people that the reader comes to know, love, hate, and care about in one way or another. By the conclusion of this finely crafted novel, we know Grace the best, and as she faces her own death, we understand that she has learned important lessons from the past, has truly learned to live her own life on her own terms. Riverton is an exceptionally strong debut from a gifted writer. One can only imagine and anticipate what Morton might have in store for us next!
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