Skip to main content

Review: "The House at Riverton" by Kate Morton

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.


My Thoughts:  I love Kate Morton's books so I was really excited to pick this one up.  Unfortunately, I was somewhat disappointed in this one.  While the story had a lot of potential, it was slow moving and I found it hard to connect with the characters.  It looks like this is her first book and I must say that her writing and story-telling abilities have improved quite a lot since this book was published. 

I liked the older version of Grace, she seemed like a feisty old woman and I have an affinity for old people though I wasn't a huge fan of young Grace.  I think Morton did a good job of making old Grace into a much more mature character who had done a lot of growing up in her life.  I didn't like how much guilt she felt regarding the past; there is a big secret alluded to throughout the story and when it is revealed I felt like it was a little silly that Grace felt so guilty for what happened.  

The book kind of reminded me of Downton Abbey with their being the 'downstairs' and 'upstairs' characters.  I liked the downstairs characters a lot but the upstairs characters, not so much.  I thought Emmeline and Hannah were incredibly spoiled and self-centered and I had a hard time understanding Grace's devotion to them.  It seemed like she wasted a lot of her energy trying to build a relationship with Hannah when it was pretty obvious that it would only ever be a one-sided relationship.

The secret kind of got on my nerves throughout the story.  There is so much foreshadowing leading up to it and it wasn't revealed until the very end and at that point it didn't seem very shocking.  I also felt like it was kind of obvious what was going to happen by the end because it had been alluded to for so long.  I hate to be so negative about this book because I have enjoyed Morton's other books so much.  I definitely didn't hate the book but it didn't live up to my expectations.  3 stars.

This book is part of my personal collection.

Comments

  1. Despite the Downton Abbey comparison (which DEFINITELY caught my eye)...it sounds like I'd be better served trying one of Morton's other books first. I have a copy of The Secret Keeper that's been in my Kindle for ages...maybe a better choice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of the books I have read by Kate Morton, The Secret Keeper is my favorite. I highly recommend it!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish . This week's topic:  Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most 1.) The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons   2.) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon           If you read my blog at all, you know I love these two books so much!  I am not afraid to suggest them to anyone who I think might enjoy them. 3.) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - I was definitely recommending this book left and right when the first movie came out. 4.) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 5.) A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin           These are two books that I just recently started recommending but they are books that can appeal to anyone so they are easy picks when someone asks for a recommendation. 6.) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead  - I get a little embarrassed when I recommend this book to people but seriously, just because it has vampires does not mean it is like Twilight. 7.) The Giver by Lois

Review and Giveaway: "Distant Signs" by Anne Richter

Synopsis: Distant Signs is an intimate portrait of two families spanning three generations amidst turbulent political change, behind and beyond the Berlin Wall. In 1960s East Germany, Margret, a professor’s daughter from the city, meets and marries Hans, from a small village in Thuringia. The couple struggle to contend with their different backgrounds, and the emotional scars they bear from childhood in the aftermath of war. As East German history gradually unravels, with collision of the personal and political, their two families’ hidden truths are quietly revealed. An exquisitely written novel with strongly etched characters that stay with you long after the book is finished and an authentic portrayal of family life behind the iron curtain based on personal experience of the author who is East German and was 16 years old at the fall of the Berlin Wall. Why do families repeat destructive patterns of behaviour across generations? Should the personal take precedence over

Review and Giveaway: "This Son of York" by Anne Easter Smith

Synopsis: Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by This Son of York…” — William Shakespeare, Richard III Richard III was Anne’s muse for her first five books, but, finally, in This Son of York he becomes her protagonist. The story of this English king is one of history’s most compelling, made even more fascinating through the discovery in 2012 of his bones buried under a car park in Leicester. This new portrait of England’s most controversial king is meticulously researched and brings to vivid life the troubled, complex Richard of Gloucester, who ruled for two years over an England tired of war and civil strife. The loyal and dutiful youngest son of York, Richard lived most of his short life in the shadow of his brother, Edward IV, loyally supporting his sibling until the mantle of power was thrust unexpectedly on him. Some of his actions and motives were misunderstood by his enemies to have been a deliberate usurpation of the throne, but thr