Book Review: The House At Riverton

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

The blurb: Summer 1924: On the night 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, 98, onetime housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet’s suicide. Ghosts awaken and 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: It never rains but it pours! Another excellent novel that I couldn’t put down!

I was in exactly the right frame of mind for this book, read on holiday, I had time to take in the entire nature of it, the detailed story-telling, the complex relationships and emotional ties between the characters that made them end up in the position they do on the fateful night of the Riverton party.

If you love Downton Abbey, you’ll love this. Grace is a young housemaid and you follow her story throughout the entire twentieth century history of the Hartford family at Riverton and how she plays a key role, even from before she was born in the telling of it. She’s a very likeable character, well voiced and the narrative rolls smoothly on to its shocking conclusion.

There is so much good in this novel that I don’t know where to start. I loved the pre-war decadence, the feeling that Morton creates of a society on the brink of a catastrophic change that will alter the entire world. The outbreak of WW1 the power shifts, the struggle for money and the utter desperation of losing loved ones in a senseless war. But most of all, I loved Hannah and her spirit, a woman born in the wrong time, needing an independence that can never be under the weight of her traditional families responsibilities.

This is a wonderful and tragic book, more than a saga, more than a mystery, a glimpse into a beautiful and fragile world that you’ll want to revisit again and again. High accolades here for this wonderful book!

10 out of 10 stars! **********

BUY ME! The House at Riverton

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