Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Book in Review

 (Sorry for the very long delay since my last real blog!  Not feeling 100% but glad to be back!)

The House at Riverton is the story of a girl born around the turn of the 20th century.  Told in flashbacks, the narrator is Grace, who is now 98.  During the 1910's, Grace worked as a lady's maid for a rich local family in England.  Kate Morton sets up the tale as a love story gone horribly wrong (isn't that often the case) with the now 98 year old Grace the sole surviving witness to an infamous death at the famous Riverton estate.  A film is being made about the death and Grace is relieved to discover they don't know the truth of what happened.

I won't spoil the end for the reader.  I am usually someone who can guess an ending before it happens.  (D hates going to the movies with me for this very reason!)  The ending of this book is somewhat surprising and the reader should get to enjoy it.

For the most part I did enjoy Ms. Morton's writing and her ability to mix past and present seamlessly.  However, the story is at times too cumbersome and unrealistic.  There is one large secret about Grace that the reader (if anything at all like me) figures out more than a hundred pages before Ms. Morton intends it to be revealed.  The flips back and forth between past and present leave the reader wishing we were spending more time in the past.  Ms. Morton hints at Grace's life after being a lady's maid but doesn't elaborate enough to really make the reference useful.  The sheer number of characters that the reader has to keep track of is also overwhelming at times.  When speaking with T (my coworker) about this book I recommended her  book club draw up a chart/family tree to keep track of everyone!

All in all a good book but not exactly a light read. I'd recommend reading when you have time to devote to Ms. Morton's stories. 

A Book in Review Grade: B+


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