- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (March 3 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416550534
- ISBN-13: 978-1416550532
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.6 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 431 g
- Average Customer Review: 55 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The House at Riverton: A Novel Paperback – Mar 3 2009
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"This novel will challenge your definitions of friendship, family and, most of all, trust." -- Hallmark Magazine (Hallmark Magazine)
"An extraordinary debut...written with a lovely turn of phrase. [Morton] knows how to eke out tantalizing secrets and drama." -- The Sunday Telegraph (UK) (Sunday Telegraph UK)
About the Author
Kate Morton is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours, The Secret Keeper, The Lake House, and The Clockmaker’s Daughter. Her books are published in 34 languages and have been #1 bestsellers worldwide. She is a native Australian, holds degrees in dramatic art and English literature. She lives with her family in London and Australia.See all Product description
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The main characters in the book form a soul triptych: Hannah, an intelligent, pensive, reflective adventurer; her sister Emmerline, a free-spirited, rebellious non-conformist; and Grace, the narrator, a shy, servile girl loyal to her masters, an observer forever yearning for acceptance by others. Robbie, a poet, being burdened by emotional wreckage from the war, inserts himself indelibly into these characters' lives.
This work may be one of a few novels from the first decade of the 21st century that will still be read a hundred years from now. It has a classical style and powerful conclusion, but it can't quite measure up to du Maurier. Morton has a wonderful skill with phrases and her characterizations are intriguing. The narrative by Grace, towards the end of her life, alternates with her descriptive memories from the past, which she tapes for Marcus, her grandson. I did find the jumping back and forth somewhat annoying, especially when the two scenarios occur within one paragraph. All readers are familiar with the literary device of foreshadowing. Morton goes beyond that and uses teasers or spoilers that clearly state what will be occurring later in the book. Whenever this occurs it is somewhat disconcerting for readers but the suspense then revolves around "how does it get to that point?" The climax is reached at the very end (do not peek) and will no doubt establish the book to become a contender for deserved recognition in the mystery/suspense genre.
This book is not riveting from the start so it takes patience to get to its second half. There is romance and passion in this book but not the types that will endear romantics. Really, this story is rather joyless, so it shouldn't be pursued to explore emotions of felicity and gladness.
This one made me feel sad at the end and the end was a surprise to me. Beyond that it was once again a riveting story. A young girl works as a house maid in the house at Riverton and the story spans years of her memories from that time. The reader learns the old unspoken rule that in all houses of wealth, whatever is seen or heard is never ever spoken of to anyone. She has the privilege of working in the house with the owners, so through the years family experiences become secrets to be kept to oneself. Those are the rules of the house and for us as modern readers this can be frustrating to read about, but I knew why she kept secrets that should have been told.
Through the teenaged years, years of war, experiences that become secrets, the author moves the reader through to an ending that surprised me. I didn't see it coming.
I guess I have to read this one again... good thing I own all three of her books, Forgotten Garden, House at Riverton, and the Distant Hours.
I am now her biggest fan!
Kate is an amazing storyteller, but with this book i was left feeling disappointed with how the story wrapped up.
The Secret Keeper and Forgotten Garden still top my list of best books by Kate Morton
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