TITLE: THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON
AUTHOR: KATE MORTON
This is a Gothic novel; it's a love story, a tragedy and a mystery. All of these ingredients making it a fascinating and compelling read.
In 1999, Grace is as old as the century, when she's asked to assist in the making of a film about events that took place on a midsummer night party in 1924. As history tells the story, on that night, a young poet took his own life, as a result of which two sisters, Hannah and Emmeline never talked to each other again.
Although Grace says and does nothing to change the story as it has been written for the movie, the event does awaken memories she has been trying to lose every since 1924.
Going back in time, Grace tells the story of how as a 14 year old she came to work as a servant at Riverton where she soon became curious about the three children. When she gets as close as a servant can to the eldest girl, Hannah, she also becomes an accomplice to events that will eventually lead to a tragedy. A tragedy which was of Grace's making as much as it was of others'.
If you didn't read the blurb on the back of the book, or the thoughts of present day Grace, but instead focused only on the story of the younger Grace, it would take you quite a while to get a sense of the impending doom. While at the same time, tragedy appears unavoidable from the start, from before the three (four?) main characters in the story make an entrance even.
And that is what made this such a wonderful book, pulling along until tragedy struck, while all the time hoping that it might yet be avoided.