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I was excited when we picked this book for book club last month. We'd read Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden last year, and it was phenomenal. Couldn't put it down. I was expecting the same out of The House at Riverton, and while I enjoyed it, it didn't have that same amazingness that The Forgotten Garden had.
The story follows Grace, a house maid eventually turned ladies maid through the course of her tenure at Riverton. The story focuses on the suicide of a poet, an old family friend and years leading up to that point.
Things I liked about the book:
The setting. The old manor house filled with staff and surrounded by beautiful grounds. Not to mention I'm a sucker for anything that takes place in England.
The concept. A man dies mysteriously and everyone's lives change as a result.
The twists. But I won't tell you about them in case you haven't read the book.
Things I didn't like about the book:
The way you don't get back to the suicide until the very end.
The incredible amount of sadness. There were times I had to put this book down because it was getting so sad.
I know it was a different time, and people behaved differently, but I would have liked Grace to have confronted a few things that she just let lie, and then the people who they were relevant to died and she never got to say them or learn how the people felt about them. I know, I'm being vague, but read the book and you'll get it.
[caption id="attachment_1254" align="aligncenter" width="576"] The House at Riverton pairs well with a glass of champagne.[/caption]
Overall, I enjoyed The House at Riverton. It was entertaining enough, albeit a little too sad. Would I read it again? No. Would I recommend it to a friend? I don't really know. Probably not. I'd recommend The Forgotten Garden first. In fact, I have recommended that one.
Has anyone else read this book? What did you think?