The House at Riverton
About the book:
The House at Riverton is a gorgeous debut novel set in England between the wars. Perfect for fans of Downton Abbey, it is the story of an aristocratic family, a house, a mysterious death and a way of life that vanished forever, told in flashback by a woman who witnessed it all and kept a secret for decades.
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.
The novel is full of secrets -- some revealed, others hidden forever, reminiscent of the romantic suspense of Daphne du Maurier. It is also a meditation on memory, the devastation of war and a beautifully rendered window into a fascinating time in history.
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 -- the reader won't soon forget.
About Kate Morton
Kate Morton is the eldest of three sisters. She was born in South Australia and moved with her family numerous times before settling, finally, on Tamborine Mountain. There she attended a tiny country school and spent much of her childhood inventing and playing games of make-believe with her sisters.
Kate fell avidly in love with books very early. Her favourites were those by Enid Blyton, and Kate escaped many times up the Faraway Tree or with the Famous Five into smugglers' cove. It was a love deeply felt, for it is still mysteries and secrets that dance around the edges of Kate's mind, keeping her awake deep into the night, turning or typing pages.
When she finished school, Kate studied and earned a Licentiate in Speech and Drama from Trinity College London. After an ill-fated attempt to 'do something sensible' and obtain an Arts/Law degree, she went on to complete a summer Shakespeare course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and for sometime believed her future lay in theatre. Until one day, quite simply and clearly, she realised that it wasn't performing she was in love with. It was words.
Although she'd read and scribbled from before she could remember, it hadn't occurred to Kate, until that time, that real books were written by real people. She began writing in earnest and completed two full length manuscripts (which lie deep and determinedly within a bottom drawer) before settling finally into the story that would become The Shifting Fog (The House at Riverton).
Concurrently, Kate enrolled in a degree in English Literature at the University of Queensland, graduating with First Class Honours. On that basis she won a scholarship and proceeded to complete a Masters degree focusing on tragedy in Victorian literature. Kate is currently enrolled in a PhD program researching contemporary novels that marry elements of gothic and mystery fiction.
Kate is married to Davin, a composer, and they have two young sons. All four live together in a nineteenth-century home replete with its own ghosts and secrets.
Kate Morton's books are published in 31 countries. The House at Riverton was a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2007 and a New York Times bestseller in 2008. The Shifting Fog won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2007 Australian Book Industry Awards, and The House at Riverton was nominated for Most Popular Book at the British Book Awards in 2008. Her second book, The Forgotten Garden, was a #1 bestseller in Australia and a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2008.
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