Sunday 23 November 2014

Review - The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

The House at RivertonThe House at Riverton by Kate Morton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - on and off over 7 days

Pages - 599

Publisher - Macmillan Pan Books

Blurb from Goodreads

Summer 1924

On the eve of a glittering society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again.

Winter 1999

Grace Bradley, ninety-eight, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken and old memories - long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind - begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge, something history has forgotten but Grace never could.

Set as the war-shattered Edwardian summer surrenders to the decadent twenties, The House at Riverton is a thrilling mystery and a compelling love story.

My Review

Grace Bradley is 98 years old, reminiscing on her days as a housemaid, and later as a ladies maid at Riverton Manor. A movie is being made of its history and Grace is being interviewed, this brings back many memories and secrets, some of which the family, and Grace would prefer to stay in the past.

The story goes between the 1920s and present day, set to 1999. The story revolves around Grace going into employment within the Riverton Manor, where her mother worked years previously. There is a blatant theme from the servants that they know something about Grace, and her mother, that she isn't aware of. The story build up is long, drawn out and takes, I felt, forever for anything to actually happen or come to fruition. The last quarter of the book is where it really starts to come together, you get an insight into what has been hinted at throughout the book and some closure with the characters, past and present.

I think it is a nice tale if you like a sedate pace, a long and winding tale with lots of mundane stages that allude to something big coming. It was nicely written and a well received book by many, however, for me I prefer a bit more meat to my read. 2/5 for me this time, I would read this author again however I won't be rushing out to buy up her work.

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  1. I read one of her books, but can't remember the name now, I had similar thoughts that it seemed to drag on a bit, although the story was basically good.

  2. I actually like slowly plotted books but only if good writing and characters make the journey worthwhile.

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this book! I've never read a book with a 98-year-old protagonist before!

  4. A book that for some reason rings a bell with me - I had thought I must have read it but haven't.

    Depending how how sedate the pace and my mood at the time
    I may/may not enjoy this. Great review, thanks.


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