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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Monday, September 01, 2008

My First RIP Read

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Atria (April 2008)
ISBN-10: 1416550518

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This debut page-turner from Australian Morton recounts the crumbling of a prominent British family as seen through the eyes of one of its servants. At 14, Grace Reeves leaves home to work for her mother's former employers at Riverton House. She is the same age as Hannah, the headstrong middle child who visits her uncle, Lord Ashbury, at Riverton House with her siblings Emmeline and David. Fascinated, Grace observes their comings and goings and, as an invisible maid, is privy to the secrets she will spend a lifetime pretending to forget. But when a filmmaker working on a movie about the family contacts a 98-year-old Grace to fact-check particulars, the memories come swirling back. The plot largely revolves around sisters Hannah and Emmeline, who were present when a family friend,the young poet R.S. Hunter, allegedly committed suicide at Riverton. Grace hints throughout the narrative that no one knows the real story, and as she chronicles Hannah's schemes to have her own life and the curdling of younger Emmeline's jealousy, the truth about the poet's death is revealed. Morton triumphs with a riveting plot, a touching but tense love story and a haunting ending. (Apr.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

This is book one of four for the RIP Challenge..

When I sent for this book I think I expected more from it than I should have. I thought it would hold more secrets and more intrigue than it did.

The book started off slow. I thought it was going to build suspense and would soon begin to reveal the awful truths. As I read on, it didn't seem to pick up speed or unearth any shattering events from the house or the inhabitants... I read on.

What I found was that in 480 pages there was only one secret! One mystery to be solved... but to be honest it was written in such a way that you figured it would be told to you sooner or later and therefore never really tried to figure anything out... it was written so that Grace , told her story of being a maid to the family at Riverton. Her memories were sparked when a filmmaker approaches her for information about the family at Riverton. And so we see her past life unfold from the recesses of her mind.

It was a disappointment. The writing was good. I think the problem was that there just weren't enough mystery or suspenseful secrets going on to make this book a riveting read.

But I will say that it was an "ok read".. it wasn't horrible, and I did manage to read the whole book without setting it just isn't a book that I would say I'd ever read again. But in all fairness, I do believe I had high anticipation for this book and maybe that kept me from enjoying it's simplicity more than I did.

For my next Peril's read I think I will reread The Thirteenth Tale. I read it last year and couldn't say enough good about it, so I think I need to reread it and find out if I still think that the book is indeed as good as I said it was last year!


Blogger Rhinoa said...

I recently read this for my library discussion group. I have to agree with you, it was ok. Not great but not terrible, somewhere inbetween. I hope your next pick is better.

7:24 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

hi rhinoa.. yeah.. just not enough deep dark stories going on here. thanks for the comment, least I know it's not just me lol

7:27 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I read this as well and I thought it was good, but for other reasons. I can see how this would be disappointing if you thought it was going to be a thriller. I think I enjoyed the history aspect and some of the issues that it tried to address.

I think part of the reason I liked it so much at the time was that I was reading something else that I really didn't like and it was great by comparison but after I thought about it some more I came to the conclusion that it was good to ok, and that there were some holes that never quite got filled by the end.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

I'm sorry to hear this one was disappointing. But it sounds like you'll enjoy your next RIP read a lot more :) I just got myself a copy of The Thirteenth Tale and I can't wait to get to it.

11:55 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Nicole: yes it was "ok" and even "good" towards the end.. just not as good as I thought it would be.

Nymeth: oh yeah! lol.. I'm already into 13th Tale! With every page I am reminded how good this book is!

11:58 AM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

Aw, I hate it when that happens! Expecting greatness and only getting "ok" :(

12:52 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

ladytink: sounds like my birth! LOL.. yeah, I hoped it would be better *sigh*.. but.. it could have been bad and a book I couldn't finish!

1:26 PM  
Blogger Pardon My French said...

I hate to admit this but I've never heard of this book! I appreciate your honesty in the review and think I'll pass on it. Can't wait to read The Thirteenth Tale with you! I am a re-reader as well and am interested in seeing what you have to say the second go 'round.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous VIcki said...

Hi, Deslily!

I'm so sorry to hear your brother's been ill. I hope things take a turn for the better. Sending good thoughts toward y'all!

And I'm glad you liked the rest of the Mary Russells--those are such great fun. I'm wanting to get my hands on the next one (THE LANGUAGE OF BEES), but even the ARC won't be out until early spring. Waaah! :..( Oh, and if you haven't read IN THE WOODS by Tana French, that's a terrific book--it's one of my faves of this year, and it won the Edgar for best first mystery a few months ago.


10:58 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

pardon my french: Ohhh, I am well into the 13th tale already and loving it as much this time as the first time!

Vicki: Hiyas!! It's funny but as I finally received the last of the Mary Russell books I wondered about the "new book, The Languare of Bees" .. that's a bummer the arc won't be out until spring! sheesh! I've also been thinking about Touchstone and thinking of rereading it.. i really enjoyed the characters in that book.
I'll check into The Woods ..sigh... my wish list and tbr list never ends!.. heck, they never even get short! lol

9:28 AM  
Blogger Cath said...

Playing 'catch-up' here... there's a new Mary Russell???? Yipppeeeeeee!!!

I can't see the book you reviewed, in our shops, without reading it as The House at Tiverton rather than 'Riverton'. *g* So it feels like I ought to read it but perhaps I won't bother... or get to it when I have nothing else to read. Long as no-one holds their breath waiting for that day to come we'll be ok...

4:03 AM  
Anonymous stefanie said...

Too bad the book was a disappointment. But you took a really great photo!

8:31 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I've heard the same thing about this book from other people...that it's so-so and nothing special. Should've told you that before, but I didn't remember what it was until you posted about it :p A lot of help I am, huh? lol...Love the skull by the way!

9:42 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Cath:.. the book was "ok".. just slow and there's not much mystery to it.

stephanie: thanks! I've been trying to take "halloween" type photo's for the RIP reads!

Chris: yeah.. guess I thought it would be as good as The Thirteenth Tale!

7:43 AM  
Blogger Framed said...

I was disappointed after reading the publisher's review here to find from your review that the book didn't live up to the hype. So I will skip this one. I have The 13th Tale on my list for RIP this year and really look forward to it.

10:13 AM  

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