From That's A Novel Idea and Find Your Next Book Here
1 book I read: The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
2 words that describe the book: Family mystery
3 settings where it took place or characters you met:
Setting: Riverton House, England
Grace Bradley began her life in domestic service at Riverton House, the same place where her mother worked until becoming pregnant with Grace, when she was 14. At 98, Grace is visited by a film director making a movie about Riverton and who takes Grace back to the now-restored house, reawakening her memories of a terrible tragedy. Through memories, Grace relives the events leading up to and following the death of a bright young poet during a party in 1924.
Hannah Hartford is the oldest daughter of the family occupying Riverton House. She is a young woman who wants nothing to do with society -- She would prefer to run off to London to become a secretary than marry and spend her days running house and planning parties. Hannah finds a kindred spirit in Grace, but it isn't enough to save her from her eventual downfall.
4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:
I liked, as always, Morton's writing. It's evocative without being flowery, and it's easy-to-read without being simplistic.
I liked how this book gives the reader a glimpse into the life of a servant, a group that's often relegated to the background of a story.
I didn't like that not all the secrets were explicitly revealed. Yes, I know that's the whole point, that some secrets are taken to the grave, but I would have liked to know everything. I guess I'm nosy like that.
I liked the main setting of Riverton House. Even when the estate was in disrepair, I wanted to live there. Morton's descriptions of the beautiful, sprawling grounds and the stately home almost made the house a character in itself.
5 Stars or less for your rating?
I'm giving the book 5 stars. I read this book nearly three years ago, before it was published in the United States, and I loved it then, too. This is a really rich book that has something for pretty much everyone.
The Whys and Wheres: I received my copy through the Barnes & Noble First Look program back in February 2008
Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge