The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
The House at Riverton is about an old lady called Grace Bradley who used to be a maid at Riverton Manor as a young girl in the 1920s. However she has a secret involving the suicide of the famous (and fictional poet) Robbie Hunter, and the secret inspires a film to be made about the events.
I read this book as inspiration for a story that I’m writing at the moment, which also involves a manor. The narrative structure of House at Riverton was very good but sometimes it felt like I didn’t care who or what the characters were and there were a lot of stereotypes. However, I liked how the author made an obvious progression from the stuck up Victorian views in the distant past to the ever changing world in World War I and beyond. I liked how they used the old fashioned family dynamic that would eventually be lost by WW1 due to the lack of young male heirs. Users on Goodreads didn’t really like this book and I can see their point. It was a decent book but a book really needs to grab my attention to be good. I also looked up the author and it looks like all her other books are very similar but I can’t judge the book for that unless I read or come across her other work but luckily some of the book starts to piece itself together eventually and I started to like the characters of David and Robbie.
I am generally a big fan of those ‘old person looking back on their life’ stories if it is done correctly. With this one, it is written in a slightly poignant way and it really shows how people like to alter events for drama in a film.
Interesting book with plenty of mystery but it was honestly a book that I randomly picked up and didn’t give that much thought into it when reading it. Luckily it gave me a lot to think about for my own story, and the earlier scenes reminded me of the Jacqueline Wilson book Hetty Feather, which was one of my favorites when I was younger.