The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
A Novel

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Part mystery and part period drama, Grace’s story is completely engrossing.
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The House at Riverton is a gorgeous debut novel set in England between the wars. It is the story of an aristocratic family, a house, a mysterious death and a way of life that vanished forever, told in flashback by a woman who witnessed it all and kept a secret for decades.

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.

Originally published to critical acclaim in Australia, already sold in ten countries and a #1 bestseller in England, The House at Riverton is a vivid, page-turning novel of suspense and passion, with characters -- and an ending -- the reader won't soon forget.

About Kate Morton

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Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Queensland. Kate lives with her husband and young sons in Brisbane. Her first novel, The Shifting Fog, published internationally as The House at Riverton, was a number one bestseller in 2007. The Forgotten Garden, her second novel, was also a bestseller in Australia, the UK, the US and in many European countries. You can find more information about Kate and her books at
Published April 22, 2008 by Atria Books. 497 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Self Help. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The House at Riverton
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1


Above average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on May 20 2010

Though the climactic revelation feels contrived, Morton’s characters and their predicaments are affecting, and she recreates the period with a sure hand.

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Reviewed by Carolyn Kubisz on Jan 01 2008

Part mystery and part period drama, Grace’s story is completely engrossing.

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Reviewed by Erin Collazo Miller on Jan 01 2008

Morton paints a vivid picture of life and the changing class structure in England circa WWI.

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Reviewed by Sue Magee on Jun 01 2008

It's a rich cast of characters too and even those who play a relatively small part are real, believable people. It's the plot though that really makes this story so compelling.

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Above average
Reviewed by NLD on Jun 30 2010

Some of the "twists" are foreshadowed and are easy to predict, but it is still a pleasure to watch the details work themselves out through the well-written story.

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