I loved this book, I’ve already gone out and bought a few more of her books. The woman at the local independent bookshop that I love in Vancouver had recommended her books to me, telling me to start with this one, and I finally got around to it. I wish I’d read it sooner.
The book is narrated by a 98-year-old woman, named Grace, who looks back at her life starting in 1914 when she started as a maid at this house at the estate called Riverton. She worked for a family and became quite close to the eldest daughter and stayed on with her even after the daughter got married and moved to London. As an old woman now in a nursing home she is asked for her insight by a woman working on a movie about that family and their tragic past. The story flips back and forth between 1914, 1918- 1924 and 1998. It is so well done and incredibly easy to follow. You find out that there are secrets, past actions and guilt and very slowly you start to realize the situation and the key players. I felt like the pacing was good, the character development was great, the insight into how people behaved back then in upper class, and lower class families and what roles were played was interesting. I wish some things had been answered more fully, more in regards to side characters like the Grace’s daughter and grandson.
There were things I didn’t love about this book. It was almost 600 pages, I didn’t think it needed to be that long. I also wish the love triangle had been played out a bit more.. I felt that one of the characters involvement was barely there until it became a pivotal plot point right at the very end. There were a few details to the book too that were not pleasing.. a few plot points that didn’t entirely make sense. But I accept that the author used those plot details to tell the wider story and get it to where she wanted it to be.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story, historical fiction, and/or books set in England. And I will definitely read more books by Kate Morton