Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Off the Bookshelf: The House at Riverton

Kate Morton has easily become a favorite author of mine.  I've read every book she has out now and I am counting down to October when her next book will be released.

The House at Riverton was a fantastic story.  Set in the 1920's, it follows a housemaid as she serves a wealthy family and their two daughters.  As a housemaid, one has to be invisible but still meeting every need.  With the invisibility though comes a person privy to secrets and serving a wealthy family will open a young girls eyes to the secrets that lie inside the house.

Morton does a wonderful job of weaving this story and the mystery that develops.  I know I am easy to please and almost always recommend you read books that I've read, but I must say...I highly recommend this book.

Grace Bradley went to work at Riverton House as a servant when she was just a girl, before the First World War. For years her life was inextricably tied up with the Hartford family, most particularly the two daughters, Hannah and Emmeline.
In the summer of 1924, at a glittering society party held at the house, a young poet shot himself. The only witnesses were Hannah and Emmeline and only they -- and Grace -- know the truth.
In 1999, when Grace is ninety-eight years old and living out her last days in a nursing home, she is visited by a young director who is making a film about the events of that summer. She takes Grace back to Riverton House and reawakens her memories. Told in flashback, this is the story of Grace's youth during the last days of Edwardian aristocratic privilege shattered by war, of the vibrant twenties and the changes she witnessed as an entire way of life vanished forever.
The novel is full of secrets -- some revealed, others hidden forever, reminiscent of the romantic suspense of Daphne du Maurier. It is also a meditation on memory, the devastation of war and a beautifully rendered window into a fascinating time in history.

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I am married to my best friend and am the mom of two wonderful kids. I have had my ups and downs in regards to health, happiness and weight loss. This blog will tell you about all of those ups and downs and my opinion on the randomness that we call life.


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