Release: In Norway in 2008
Good to know: This is Kate Morton's debutnovel
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.
Evocative, historical read
The House at Riverton will appeal to readers who love great, British epics with stories from a bygone time.
A great tragedy unfolds at the mansion Riverton an evening in 1924. The two sisters, Emmeline and Hannah witness the tragic event. As the years go by, the event gets shrouded in mystery. 75 years later, a female director is eager to make a movie about the tragedy. She meets up with the housemaid Grace, who worked at Riverton at the time. Grace is the only one who knows the whole story, and when she starts talking about the past, old memories resurfaces.
I had heard so many great things about this book, and it is not difficult to understand why it has become so popular. The book has everything you would want from a great epic novel: secrets and mysteries, love and tragedies, betrayal and loyalty, all wrapped together in a historical blanket. Kate Mortom appears to have done a lot of research on the periods she writes about. It is almost as if one can hear the rustling of the gowns and smell Chanel no five.
Morton's language suits the novel, and the dialoges are written in a way that makes them seem appropriate for the time they were spoken.
The book is quite entertaining at times, but unfortunatey I didn't find myself fully immersed in the story before it was almost over. The book is too long, and a lot of the secrets revealed did not come as a surprise for me.
But if you enjoy historical novels from Britain, you may want to check this one out.
Kate Morton's website
Kate Morton at Goodreads