GREAT NEWS: I think that my book constipation is finally OVER. TMI? Sorry. It’s just that it has been months since I’ve read a book that has captured and held my attention. I just couldn’t get into anything, which is heartbreaking, considering my love-love-love of books and reading.
A friend of mine with a different kind of FC recommended The House at Riverton. We have like-minded chemo brains and attention spans. So, when she told me about it, I knew it would be a winner (Silver Lining)!
I have always been a big fan of historical fiction because it tells a good story and I walk away feeling as if I’ve learned something. This book is just that.
The House at Riverton is a story about a very old woman with a very old story who looks back across the 20th century to recall a terrible event in her youth to which she was the only witness and which history has remembered incorrectly. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds!
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.
Grace is a strong character, a survivor, clear-thinking, unsentimental, independent and intelligent. I was actually really bummed when I finished the book.
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 — that you won’t soon forget.
I hope that you enjoy this book as much as I do!
What are you reading right now?