Saturday, September 25, 2010

"The House at Riverton" by Kate Morton

Summary: At age 99, Grace recounts her days as a maid at Riverton Manor and her relationships with the two sisters who lived there: Hannah and Emmeline.  Ever since those days Grace has held onto the sisters' secrets, and now that her life is ending she feels the need to release them for the first time.

Musings: The House at Riverton is not typical fare for me, and although the novel's characters and basic conceit have certainly be done before, I still found myself interested in the intrigue, scandal, and secrets that tore apart a family of the noblesse.

As a maid, Grace is able to observe the family members without being noticed, but as time goes on, she also is taken into Hannah's confidences.  Grace is a devoted servant who gives up much to serve Hannah, and because of that, she sometimes seems to lack personality herself.  In fact, when Grace finally learns a huge secret about her own history (a secret, of course, that had been obvious to the reader for awhile), she reacts strongly then promptly forgets about it and her life seems mostly unchanged afterward.

There's a long time building up to the "scandal" that has been alluded to for most of the novel, and the relationships at the scandal's core are fairly ordinary and unsurprising.  The book concludes at a decent pace, but I found, once finished, that I had very little to say about the book.  I would suggest it to those looking for a historical mystery and with some elements of romance, but it's certainly not a standout.

No comments:

Post a Comment