House at Riverton Read-along

Monday, November 5, 2012

I think I've made it clear that I love Kate Morton's books. So when Words and Peace decided to host a read-along of one of her books that I hadn't read, The House at Riverton, I just had to join in. She posted a list of questions for everyone to answer. So here are both the questions and my answers. There might be some spoilers of Part 1.

On Part 1: from 'Ghosts Stir' to 'Until We Meet Again'

Please share your favorite lines:

“I was not a rebel – indeed, back then I had a fierce sense of duty – but to live without Holmes and Watson was unthinkable.”

“…for home is a magnet that lures back even its most abstracted children.”

“It is an uncanny feeling, that rare occasion when one catches a glimpse of oneself in repose. An unguarded moment, stripped of artifice, when one forgets to fool even oneself.”

Ghosts Stir:

What effect do the first 2 sentences have on you, as a reader?

It immediately reminded me of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

Does this chapter draw you in? How does the author manage to do this?

Yes, it sets up the secrets and the mystery. I wanted to know how the main character’s life is woven in with the Hartford sisters.

The Nursery:

If you mentioned the title of another book in question #1, do you find here more things in common with that book?

Yes, a new person being introduced into a home, but this book is told from a servant’s POV instead of the lady of the house’s POV.

Waiting for the recital:

What’s your feeling toward the Game?

It sounds like child’s play, but there’s some serious foreboding as well.

All Good Things:

Merriam-Webster describes “suspense” as “pleasant excitement as to a decision or outcome” of a novel. How does the author create the suspense here?

She shows Hannah attempting to push the boundaries with her father and the war starts.

Morton often integrates the themes of memory, relationships between generations, secret, in her novels. How has she worked them, and other themes you may have identified, in this story?

The story is all about Grace’s secret, her relationship with her own mother and relationship with her daughter. That theme echoes all of Morton’s other books.

In The West:

What do you like most in this chapter?

I loved meeting Robbie and learning about his history; his mother the Spanish maid and his father, a wealthy Lord.

Until We Meet Again:

How would you define what a Gothic novel is? Does your definition apply to the first chapter of this book? Why or why not?

Gothic novels are defined as “a genre or mode of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance.” I think this book definitely fits into this category because it combines multiple romances (Alfred, Teddy, etc.) with mysteries. It’s also very atmospheric, set in a huge English manor with the memory of a death hanging over everyone.

*** *** ***

Next up are the following sections. I'll be following everyone else's posts on Nov. 12 and 19, but I will save my thoughts for a final post on Nov. 26. I finished the book and I don't want to confuse the sections in earlier posts. Happy reading!

November 12: Part 2 – from 'The Twelfth of July' to 'The Ball And After'
November 19: Part 3 – from 'Catching Butterflies' to 'The Choice'
November 26: Part 4 – from 'Hannah's Story' to the end


Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

Oooh fun! I read this book awhile ago and really enjoyed it. Still, my favorite of Morton's books is The Forgotten Garden :)

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This was a good one; enjoy.

Sandy Nawrot said...

This was the first Kate Morton I read, and I just fell in love with her. Everything she does, no matter what year the setting, is just dripping with gothic. And why is it that nurseries scare me?! Nurseries are creepy to me, which is weird. I loved this book. I am currently listening to The Forgotten Garden on audio...library FINALLY got it.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kat - Me too, Forgotten Garden is my favorite!

Diane - It's the perfect time of year to curl up with a mystery!

Sandy - I really think that whatever Morton you read first is one that sticks with you the longest! The Forgotten Garden was my first and my favorite. I hope you like it!

Kristi said...

I've never heard of Kate Morton until the past couple of weeks, and now her name seems to be popping up all over the place. I'm kicking myself because there were a few books by her at the charity shop, but now they're gone. Once my self-imposed library ban is over, I'll have to try one. Do you have a favorite?

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kristi - My favorite is The Forgotten Garden. I love that one!

Kristen said...

Oh dear, another read-along I could easily join in on. Must resist. Must resist. Must resist. ;-)

Kimberlee said...

Hi I just stumbled across your blog and I love it. We share so many similar tastes that I just had to become a follower of your blog. I hope you will find the time to come over and check my blog out. Hope to see you there and Happy Reading!


PS: I haven't read Kate Morton yet, but I have all her books sitting on my shelf. I must make time to read them. They sound so good

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kristen - I have the same problem. I want to join every single one I see! It's so much fun to read and discuss books with others.

Kimberlee - Welcome, I'm so glad you found the blog! I just checked out your's as well! I hope you get to Morton soon, she's wonderful.

Kailana said...

I am horrendous at read-alongs.. I really liked this book, though. I have her two newer ones on my TBR and I am determined to get to them one of these days.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kailana - I've learned that I like read-alongs when it's for a book that benefits from serious discussion. Then they help me get even more from the reading experiences.