Monday, 3 September 2007


AUTHOR: Kate Morton


DATE READ: August 2007

NOTES: Ninety-eight year old Grace is looking back over her life and in particular her time as a maid at Riverton in the early part of the last century. Her life (and her parentage) is entwined with the stories of the family who live there and the ultimate “secret” is not revealed until the last few pages. (Think of sub-literary Atonement crossed with Gosford Park) Unfortunately the story does not justify the nearly 600 pages it takes to tell. The device of the maid relating the story through overheard conversations is clumsy and could probably have been avoided by a straightforward narrative. Lots of research has obviously gone into the book but this whole thing has been done better elsewhere (Pat Barker, Evelyn Waugh) and it adds little to what has gone before.

Quite a disappointment – I fell for the hype but fortunately bought this book at a car boot sale for 50p.

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