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The Shifting Fog by Kate Morton

The Shifting Fog (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Kate Morton

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3,3501791,622 (3.87)275
Title:The Shifting Fog
Authors:Kate Morton
Info:Allen & Unwin (2007), Edition: First Thus, Print on Demand (Paperback), 551 pages
Collections:Your library

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The House at Riverton by Kate Morton (2006)


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English (166)  Spanish (4)  Norwegian (3)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (179)
Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
The House at Riverton is narrated by Grace, a former servant of the long established home, but the story is really about two sisters, Hannah and Emmeline, and the aristocratic way of life that is vanishing following World War I. Grace is the same age as Hannah and meets the girls, along with their brother David, during their visits to their grandparents at Riverton Manor. Told in two time periods, the reader is first introduced to the elderly Grace, living out her last days in a nursing home. When she is contacted by a film directer creating a movie about the sisters and a mysterious death that occurred at Riverton, the secrets she has kept all her life rise to the surface and she feels the need to release the burden of the truth before her time ends. Read my full review at http://thekeytothegate.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-house-at-riverton-by-kate-morton... ( )
  rebeccaskey | Jul 7, 2014 |
This was the never ending book. It went on and on. although I enjoyed the description of life in the house at the turn of the century, the pure length of the book was excruciating. I listened to it - all. About a woman that falls in love with her brother's friend and how all those events unfold. ( )
  csobolak | Jun 30, 2014 |
This was fun. An absorbing read - part historical fiction, part mystery, party romance. It's a familiar format to me. It's constructed from the point of view of a woman in present time dying and looking back on her life as a servant to an old English family during and after WWI. It's mainly just an absorbing story, but Morton does touch on some deeper themes of the shell shock that the men in WWI dealt with upon returning home.

Overall, this was fun and enjoyable - a good diversion. I'll look for more of Morton's work when I want an easy to read, absorbing book. ( )
  japaul22 | Jun 8, 2014 |
‘…history is a faithless teller whose cruel recourse to hindsight makes fools of its actors.’

The House of Riverton tells the tale of Grace Bradley who began working as a housemaid for the Hartford family at Riverton in 1915 during the first World War. Her life became inextricably linked to the house and its inhabitants; a link that would last a lifetime. Flash forward, Grace Bradley is 98 years old and living out her final days in a nursing home yet still holding tightly to the secrets she’s kept for many decades. Grace is approached by a young filmmaker who is making a movie about the tragic summer of 1924, when Robbie Hunter committed suicide, and nothing which followed was ever the same.

The story spans a vast time period beginning in 1915 when World War I is underway, to the 1920′s which completely redefined social and cultural customs and all the way to the late 90′s where we’re able to see just how much one tragic even can haunt someone forever. Kate Morton skillfully brings this time period and her characters to life. The impact of the war on the household was authentic feeling and especially well done. The one other novel of hers I’ve read, The Secret Keeper, is an absolute favorite of mine. Having read this one now I can definitely tell that this is her debut novel as it lacks the polished feel of The Secret Keeper. The House at Riverton is still a well-written and vibrant story with a cast of interesting characters although I found the mystery itself to be a bit disheveled.

The book summary makes it seem as if the story is centered around the mystery of a poet who committed suicide at Riverton in 1924, however, it took an endless amount of time to actually get to that point. The poet, Robbie Hunter, was a young man that Hannah and Emmeline met in 1915. He was a friend of their brother David and the two ended up going to war together. Their introduction is brief at the beginning of the book yet Robbie does not reappear again until close to the very end. The story had been following a steady path up until his reappearance and it not only threw a wrench in the story but made everything that followed feel contrived and artificial.

There is also an additional side mystery involving the narrator, Grace, and how her mother had worked at Riverton when she was younger. Her mother dies and takes her secrets with her and Grace slowly uncovers them throughout the novel. This unfortunately could have been interesting but felt ultimately unnecessary and not only detracted from the main mystery but extended the book needlessly. It was a separate mystery entirely from that of Robbie Hunter and I felt as if there was a similarity between Grace’s and Hannah’s secret that it would have been a better fit for the story as a whole.

The House of Riverton is an entertaining historical fiction debut that is chock-full of secrets waiting to be uncovered. It’s reminiscent of Atonement with a slight Downton Abbey feel and will be pleasing for fans of both. ( )
  bonniemarjorie | May 1, 2014 |
While it’s no secret that I am obsessed with Kate Morton, I had some reservations going into this one. Most reviews that I’ve read have stated that they didn’t quite like Morton’s first novel as much as her later ones. Now, maybe it was the fact that I had gone into this with some doubt, but I found this novel to be highly engaging, haunting, and very well written. Truth be told, I liked it more than The Forgotten Garden, and about the same as The Secret Keeper. I have still yet to read The Distant Hours, so it remains to be seen whether this may become my favorite of Morton’s works.

My Full Review Here ( )
  raisedbybooks | Mar 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate Mortonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fernández Jiménez, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, CarolineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Middelthon, Elisabet W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Davin, who holds my hand on the roller-coaster
First words
Last November I had a nightmare.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Originally published in Australia as "The Shifting Fog." Name changed to "The House at Riverton" for publication in the UK and US.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
A story of love, mystery, and a secret history revealed. Summer 1924. On the eve of a glittering society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again. Winter 1999. Grace Bradley, ninety-eight, one-time housemaid at Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken and old memories-long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind-begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge, something history has forgotten but Grace never could.
Haiku summary
Secrets aplenty
In the house at Riverton.
All will be revealed.

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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--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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