Reader reviews and comments on The House at Riverton, plus links to write your own review.

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The House at Riverton

A Novel

By Kate Morton

The House at Riverton
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Apr 2008,
    480 pages.
    Paperback: Mar 2009,
    480 pages.

    Publication Information

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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There are currently 20 reader reviews for The House at Riverton
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Jean (05/07/08)

The House at Riverton
This book painted a picture of a different time and place- with characters so vividly drawn that I had to remind myself this was fiction. The plot intensified as the story unfolded- I haven't read a book like this in years....romance, suspense, a different place and time in history.
Margo (05/07/08)

The House at Riverton
The House of Riverton is both historical novel and mystery. Just before the first World War Grace Bradley joins the staff at Riverton House at the age of 14. In many ways, this book reminded me of the Masterpiece Theater production, Upstairs, Downstairs. Perhaps this is why I initially found the characters somewhat one-dimensional and stereotypical. They were too interchangeable with the cast of the TV program. However, I quickly became caught up in the lives of Grace and Hannah, the family daughter for whom she is lady's maid and confidant.

The author is best at recreating the world of wartime, and the changing class system and life of the early 1900's. Since the title of the book is The House at Riverton, it is probably natural that Grace's life after she leaves service is not so well documented. It is a tribute to the author that I wanted to know more--a sequel perhaps?

The way some of the characters' lives are shown to be connected seemed a bit too tidy but that is a minor negative. On the whole I thoroughly enjoyed this well written book and would definitely recommend it.
Nanette (05/07/08)

Memories & Guilt
"While moths have torn holes in my recent memories, I find the distant past is clear," reflects Grace Bradley as she lives out her life in a nursing home. When she is 98, Grace and a film maker revisit Riverton House, where Grace worked as a servant for the Hartford family before and during the First World War. Author Kate Morton skillfully describes Edwardian aristocratic society, the loss of innocence inflicted by the war, and how secrets are secured and revealed. Flashbacks describe Grace's relationship with sisters Hannah and Emmeline. Readers will be intrigued by Grace's admission that even at the end of her eventful life, there is "some part of the house that wouldn't leave me."
Elizabeth (05/07/08)

Secrets from the past
Kate Morton shows her love for the traditional Gothic novel in the book about an old woman finally sharing her deepest secrets. Her beautiful writing captures the reader quickly, and the mysteries revealed as the novel progresses keep the narrative moving to its inevitable conclusion. I enjoyed the book very much and look forward to more by this author.
Kelli (05/07/08)

The House at Riverton
The House at Riverton was a nice read that allows you to fall back in time and relive another era. I think the author did a wonderful job of bringing each character to life at least in my imagination. Once I started reading the book I had a hard time putting it down.

This book will appeal to anyone who loves historical novels or is looking for an easy enjoyable read.
Sara (05/07/08)

What a great adventure!
What a great book! The author's approach kept you wanting more. I loved all of the twists & turns. I was thinking that how Grace was able to get her doctorate was going to be left unexplained, but then another surprise. Can't wait to read Ms. Morton's next book - maybe a sequel of the next generation?
Caryl (05/07/08)

The House at Riverton
I was interested in the societal changes in England basically between and post WW1. There are three main characters. Grace, who started to work at Riverton at 14 years of age (approx 1914) as a housemaid. At the time, society was deeply split by classes and societal rules. She narrates the story as an unopinionated housemaid of that period (or at least tries to; succeeding most of the time) Hannah, the older of two daughters, wishes she were a boy so she could discuss politics and business. Emmeline, the younger, loves dresses, parties and flirting. The novel shows how their characters change with the changing times. The book grows in suspense as it moves through the story. I could not put this book down right to the end. The only exception was the many, many characters which I finally made a list of so I could keep them straight.

Kate Morton, a debut novelist, has a great career ahead of her. It is rare to find a book that can keep the suspense moving to the very end. I am sure that book clubs would find this an interesting book to discuss with its many facets. There are books written that discuss societal changes and how the characters react to them, but this one is one of the best I have read. Highly recommended.
Pam (05/07/08)

The House at Riverton
Told in flashback by Grace, a loyal family servant, this debut novel tells the story of the Hartford family and Riverton, their English country estate, during the first quarter of the 20th century. This book has it all – the charmed but tragic lives of the landed gentry, the world of their faithful servants, passionate and doomed love affairs, the impact of World War I on English society, changes in the role of women in society - to name just a few. The story was briskly paced and kept me in suspense until the end, when Grace’s secret is finally revealed. The characters were believable and sympathetic in that British stiff upper-lip sort of way. If you like books like Rebecca, Atonement and Water for Elephants, as I do, this book is highly recommended.
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