Customer Reviews for

The House at Riverton: A Novel

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

32 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

Mesmerizing & emotional

For me, this was on of the best novels I have read in some time. In order to truly like this book, you must enjoy a good story. Good stories aren't always filled with suspense and drama. The ending is a wonderful one but sometimes to enjoy the end you must know the begi...
For me, this was on of the best novels I have read in some time. In order to truly like this book, you must enjoy a good story. Good stories aren't always filled with suspense and drama. The ending is a wonderful one but sometimes to enjoy the end you must know the beginning. The majority of the book is allowing you to get to know the characters, their relationships, and this is what makes the ending so emotional & satisfying. This is a spectacular debut from a new author who is able to allow us to see the past through the memories of an older woman. We see life through the eyes of a service girl dedicated to the lady she works for. A girl who kept a secret her entire life and finally shares it with the reader. It's been a long time since I felt such emotion after finishing a book.

posted by JerseyAngel on September 20, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Really disappointed

The House at Riverton was the first book I'd read by this author. This was not the book for me. I found it very boring and slow, and depressing. It was like reading a soap opera. Lots of characters, to the point that it was a little confusing for me. Some of them seemed...
The House at Riverton was the first book I'd read by this author. This was not the book for me. I found it very boring and slow, and depressing. It was like reading a soap opera. Lots of characters, to the point that it was a little confusing for me. Some of them seemed unnecessary. As much as there was going on in this book, nothing really happened. And I was looking forward to reading The Forgotten Garden, but after this experience with this book and author....maybe not.

posted by 4549926 on November 23, 2010

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    Interesting and Intriguing...

    I enjoyed the plot, the characters and the drama catpured in this book. It makes me want to be that interesting as an old woman minus the regrets and reiterates that we all have secrets.

    Another enjoyable book of Kate Morton is The Secret Garden... which I read first and found to be better than The House at Riverton.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2010

    OK

    I have rather contradictory feelings about this book. Well written, but very slow paced. While I found the premise of the story and the characters interesting, slow development of the story often allowed my attention to wander. I'd catch myself having read a page without really reading it. Had this not been the selection my book club was reading, I probably would not have finished it. That would have been a shame because the last part of the book was very good. In all fairness, there were members of my book club who thoroughly enjoyed THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    Longer than necessary but good

    Basically a good story. I dont really like too many flashbacks and flash forwards, as it interrupts the story. The ending was good, but for one thing: there' s a major plot point that just hangs there. Id recommend the book, but it could have been edited a little more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2010

    Annoying and Disappointing

    I had already read "The Forgotten Garden" by this author and enjoyed it and was looking forward to this book. However, I found that the first 3/4 of the book was kind of boring with little tidbits thrown in here and there to whet the appetite for the mysteries to come which were not really addressed until the last 1/4 of the book. The pacing could have been so much better and the tantalizing portions of Grace's story could have been fleshed out more to keep the reader absorbed. Certain events were alluded to, such as the death of Frederick's wife and the supposed affair of Grace's mother, and the identity of Ursula's grandmother thrown in near the very end, but were never expanded upon, and I found that to be annoying and disappointing. On a positive note, it was interesting to read about the relationships between the upstairs and downstairs household during this time of history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2014

    I did enjoy it even though I felt it was a bit long and drawn ou

    I did enjoy it even though I felt it was a bit long and drawn out. It was somewhat depressing, not a happily ever after. I get frustrated when the reader is made to feel that adultery is acceptable and alluring.
    I enjoyed the historical element and did get caught up in the characters and their choices. I wanted to help them make better choices along the way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    Hang in there it gets better

    The author has a wonderful descriptive style of writing. I would have given this a five star rating, but the first two hundred pages were really boring with not much going on. It finally got into the meat of the story around page 200 and then it was a page Turner (almost). Good plot twist at the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    Too lonh

    The stoery idea is great The execution was too long and drawn out I skipped many pages and was able to keep up The story could have been told in 200 fewer pages

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    Not my cup of tea

    If you like lots of tragedy and a traumatic ending, this is the book. No happy ending here.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    Interesting mystery

    Interesting mystery- paints a vivid picture of that time period and the way we all carry shadows of our past

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

    .

    .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    Nice easy read from a new author

    I liked the time setting and switching between now and 75 years earlier. Kate did pretty good character development--stronger at the start and a little weak at the end. It did have a predictably "surprise" ending, but could have used a stronger finish with tying up the loose ends of the main character's life outside the House at Riverton.

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  • Posted September 19, 2012

    Recommended

    An enjoyable read with an interesting style.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    Recommended for those who enjoy a lengthy, basically historical novel

    The book was well-written, a somewhat involved following of an English family in "The Upstairs-Downstairs" story tradition currently popular. The characters are interesting, but not always believable.
    It should be read slowly enough to absorb the atmosphere and the sense of 20th century attitudes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    Great story telling

    This book was entertaining. A great story on many levels, finding out a secret at the end. Slightly historical, exciting and depressing. Not overly suspenseful, but engaging. A nice change for a typical intense fiction reader. Worth the buy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    I loved it.

    Excellent book - execllent reader. I am now listening to "Forgotten Garden." I love the beautiful descriptions and the full use of the language.

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  • Posted March 13, 2011

    A disappointment after reading The Forgotten Garden

    I found the jumping from past to present a little irritating, it didn't serve much of a purpose As soon as I would get into the story it would jump to the present tense. Some characters were unnecessary. I missed the importance for Grace to making the tapes to give to her grandson. could have been better executed. Enjoyed the history, and information on class separation... but, when all is said and done this book was wanting. Nothing like... The forgotten Garden, which I loved and will re-read.

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  • Posted November 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Okay

    I read The Forgotten Garden before her first novel and I have to say that the House at Riverton was not as good. I was very disappointed. But still a good read.

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  • Posted October 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The House at Riverton was an enjoyable read.

    The characters were of a different age and different values and lifestyles which gave the book a historical quality. If you like historical novels, this should fit the bill. The story itself was sort of an unfolding mystery which kept you interested and moving along. It did run just a bit long - it could have been better edited.

    Her newest book, The Forgotten Garden is excellent and very fast moving. I'd keep an eye on this author as she is very good.

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  • Posted July 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An example of atmosphere over character

    Kate Morton has done an amazing job of creating the atmosphere of early 20th Century England. One totally gets the feeling of what it would be like not to be of the manor born. Our book club read this book and most of us were underwhelmed. The minor characters are more interesting than the central characters and there are many interesting tangents left unexplored. The central 'mystery' was a yawn.

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Just Okay

    A found this book interesting. It reminded me a bit of "Upstairs-Downstairs".

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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