Saturday, May 3, 2008

The House at Riverton

The House At Riverton

Kate Morton

4 out of 5

The whole time I was reading this I could only think about how much it reminded me of The Thirteenth Tale.

The story is mostly told through the eyes of 14 year old Grace Reeves who has taken a position with her mother's former employer at Riverton House in 1914. Grace begins in the kitchen and is able to view the family from this unseen position. When she enters the house, she is the same age the two young girls, though virtually invisible to them, but yet turns into their confidant. And within time, rises to the unfathomable position of ladies maid to Hannah. But things become quite topsy-turvy when at the age of 98 Grace is approached by a movie producer and is asked to be a kind of consultant for a movie about the lives of Hannah and Emmeline. As all the memories begin to flood back, Grace begins her own telling of the tale that reveals her secrets, plus the truth as to what really happened the night that a family friend and poet Robbie Hunter died in the summer house.

The truths and lies are revealed slowly and sometimes quite subtly. A few, "oh, now I get it" moments and a couple of "could they be that naïve" moments, but over all an appealing read. I just wish that it wouldn't have been so drawn out. Quite slow moving in some places and then suddenly it's over. The ending is very good, and makes up for the other slower parts. Just wish that it could have maintained a more even flow.

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