Audiobook Review of ‘The House at Riverton’ by Kate Morton

Summer 1924. On the eve of a glittering Society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again.

Winter 1999. Grace Bradley, 98, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet’s suicide. Ghosts awaken and memories, long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace’s mind, begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge – something history has forgotten but Grace never could.

Set as the war-shattered Edwardian summer surrenders to the decadent 20s, The House at Riverton is a thrilling mystery and a compelling love story.

My Review

In this beautiful tragedy, Kate Morton creates characters that are so real, so well described, that it would be difficult not to have an empathetic response to them. Grace is a wonderfully endearing character and I appreciated being able to see virtually her whole long life through a series of flashbacks and flashforwards. These created a sense of mystery throughout the novel and there were some really lovely twists that turned some of my assumptions on their head. I was so pleased that many of the characters were given the endings that I wanted them to have but there were also plenty of mis-directions along the way.

This novel is perfect for those who like their historical fiction with a touch of romance. It’s an upstairs-downstairs story that looks at many aspects of life in the 1920s, shifting its focus from those fully able to embrace the roaring 20s to those who waited upon them. Perfect for fans of Daphne du Maurier or Downton Abbey.

I’ve read several of Kate Morton’s historical fictions and was excited to listen to this newly-released audiobook. The author’s debut novel, ‘The House at Riverton’ was published in 2006 and this new audiobook is part of a brand new re-release with exciting celebrity narrators. Emilia Fox’s reading of the novel is a masterclass in great storytelling. She embodies the characters and brings to life their personalities and sensitivities. All in all, this was a wonderful listen!

Thank you to Bolinda Audio, Kate Morton and NetGalley UK for this ARC in return for my honest review.

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