Advance reader reviews of The House at Riverton

The House at Riverton

by Kate Morton

The House at Riverton
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2008
    480 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 16 member reviews
for The House at Riverton
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  • Sara (Lilburn GA)

    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?
  • Pam (Wellesley MA)

    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.
  • Caryl (Richmond VA)

    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.
  • Jean (New Richmond OH)

    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.
  • Melissa (Frisco TX)

    A story that will stay with you for a long time
    The House at Riverton opens with 99 year old Grace Bradley agreeing to meet with a filmmaker who is making a movie about Riverton, the house that Grace was in service with during the First World War, and the suicide of a prominent poet during the summer of 1924. Feeling her life coming to a slow end, Grace begins recording her memories of Riverton for her grandson, so the true story of Robbie Hunter's suicide will finally be told.

    It is easy to see why The House at Riverton was a number one bestseller in England. A compelling story rich in historical detail, from the end of the Victorian era, through the challenges of the Great War, to the beginning of the 1920's, when England's class system began to erode, you will be hard pressed to put this book down. Even when you do come to the shattering conclusion, Riverton and Grace Bradley will linger in your memory.
  • Elsbeth (Medford WI)

    A Captivating Book
    The House At Riverton is a fabulous novel!

    The author skillfully brings her readers into the house, upstairs with the aristocratic family and downstairs with the household servant staff.

    As I read this book, I felt I was right there, sharing the lives and secrets of the characters in the story. I enjoyed going back in history, to the mid-1920's via Grace's memories. The suspense at the end of the novel was great.

    It was difficult to put this book down. I will eagerly wait for Kate Morton's second novel.
  • Irene (Ashland OR)

    The House at Riverton
    A wonderful novel!

    The setting (1900-1924) and the place (Riverton House in the English countryside) are well researched and have a definite feeling of authenticity.
    The characters are all caught, unsuspecting at first, in a changing time between two wars; politics, ambitions, attitudes toward women, their place in society and the suffragette movement all play a part in their lives. Both major and minor characters have secrets, which lead the reader to many questions, some answered and some not answered.

    The story alternates between the past and the present (1999) from the perspective of the main character, Grace, who begins as a servant girl at age 14 and dying at age 98, In her last hours she shares with the reader the secret she has kept for 75 years.
    This is a thoroughly enjoyable book. I look forward to more of Kate Morton’s work in the near future.
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