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The house at Riverton
2007
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Summary
"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."--Publisher's description.
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Booklist Review
Grace Bradley is 14 when she goes to work for the Hartfords at Riverton Manor just before the First World War. As the years pass, she becomes attached to the girls, Hannah and Emmeline. The war years take their toll on the family, and then in 1924 a tragedy involving an emerging poet, Robbie Hunter, tears the family apart. Now in 1999, Grace is facing her own mortality. When a young film director decides to make a movie about Robbie's death, it stirs up a tidal wave of memories and secrets that had lain dormant for decades. In an effort to assuage her guilt, Grace dictates her story into a cassette recorder, ultimately revealing the truth surrounding the death of the poet and the unwitting part she played. Told in flashbacks, Morton's sweeping novel captures the elegance of the Edwardian era, the pain and trauma of war, and the decline of postwar England. Part mystery and part period drama, Grace's story is completely engrossing.--Kubisz, Carolyn Copyright 2008 Booklist
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