Can hardly believe that it is Sunday again! Boy did this week fly by. Unfortunately, I did not finish The House at Riverton in time for last Monday's book club but did this morning. Everyone at book club thankfully did not spoil the ending for me, and I was still able to participate. It shocked me that more people did not have a favorable reaction to this read. Here's my take...
Title: The House at Riverton
Author: Kate Morton
Rating: Four 1/2 stars
Number of pages: 471 pages
This story is composed of the reflections of a 99-year old woman who has kept secrets for most of her life. And in order for her to pass peacefully into the greater beyond, she needs to share the truth that she has kept bottled up inside. Grace was a 14-year old impressionable girl when she entered the "great house" to begin her years of servitude and loyalty. She adheres to all of the many traditions that were part and parcel of the time at the beginning of World War I in England. Although there are flashes between today's world and the early part of the 20th Century up until the mid 1920s, we know little of what transpired in the intervening years unless told to us in passing. I agree with my reading group on one point...I wish that the author explored how Grace changed her social station after World War II.
I thought that Kate Morton painted the time, place and atmosphere of both the Riverton House and London perfectly...often times, I felt as though I was with Grace, and sisters Hannah and Emmeline too. The reader knows at the start that the suicide of a famous poet was not a suicide at all, and that the two sister witnesses are linked in some way my prior events to what indeed happened. But there are even more secrets that are revealed along the way to the final ending.
If you have read, The Thirteenth Tale and enjoyed that book, you most certainly with find The House at Riverton equally riveting and a pleasure to read.
Up next, The Good Guy by Dean Koontz, apparently, this was one of Stephen King's favorite reads and thus the impetus of why it was purchased as a holiday gift for me.